MOSCOW, April 9. /TASS/. French lawmakers expressed hope on Thursday that President Francois Hollande will take part in celebrations in Moscow marking 70 years since the victory over Hitler’s forces in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War.
"We hope very much that in the long run France will be represented here (in Moscow) by the republic’s president," said Thierry Mariani from the National Assembly lower house of the French parliament, who leads a parliamentary delegation to Moscow.
He said this would be an opportunity for France to emphasize joint efforts of the two countries towards victory in WWII, the role of Normandie-Niemen Regiment in these events.
The first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s international affairs committee, Vitaly Ignatenko, drew attention to the fact that it was already a second visit by French parliamentarians to Russia over a short period of time.
He said the group of friendship of the upper houses of the Russian and French parliaments was among the biggest in the Federation Council, bringing together more than 50 parliamentarians.
He thanked the French delegation for visiting Moscow on the eve of Victory Day, the date that unites the two countries.
"We value this very much. We remember all, we have forgotten nothing. We will be celebrating on May 8-10, remembering France’s contribution to our common victory," he said.
Russian presidential chief of staff Sergey Ivanov told reporters on April 4 that 25 foreign leaders and heads of international organizations had confirmed they would attend the Victory Parade on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9. "I can’t give you the final figure, and no one can. Some leaders remain undecided, so we will only be able to announce who will attend - and we will definitely do so - in early May. To date, 25 state leaders and heads of international organisations have confirmed they will attend. Foreign armies will be represented by 10 parade units as a minimum," Ivanov said.
President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier the Kremlin would be glad to see leaders of other countries at V-Day celebrations in Moscow but believes May 9 is a holiday of Russian veterans who won that war.