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Putin respects choice of leaders who refused to attend Victory Day celebrations in Russia

The president however considers their decisions to be shameful in some cases

MOSCOW, April 16 /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that he respected the choice of those political leaders who had refused to attend the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on May 9 though he considered the decisions to be shameful in some cases.

"This is the choice made by a concrete political leader and a country, which he represents," Putin said at the annual Q&A session with Russia people.

"Some of them did not want to come themselves. Others were forbidden to do that by Washington," Putin stressed adding that the behavior of some leaders could even be described as shameful.

"But let them make their own choice," Putin said.

The president emphasized that representatives of many countries had decided to come to Russia to show their respect for the victims of Nazism. "We are going to welcome that in any form, at any time and in any place," Putiin said. "Let anybody who wants come!" he stressed.

The Russian head of state noted that the Victory Day celebrations were directed predominantly at Russian nationals. "We are going to celebrate our holiday and pay tribute to the generation of victors. We will do that in a bid to make the present-day generations at home and abroad remember those events so as to avert their recurrence in future," Putin stressed.