YEREVAN, June 19. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told Russian President Vladimir Putin he would be unable to attend the Victory Parade in Moscow over the tense coronavirus situation in the republic, according to Pashinyan’s letter published by his press office on Friday.
"Mr. President, I am telling you with regret that I won’t be able to attend the events devoted to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War," the letter reads.
"You know that I accepted with great love your invitation to take part in the celebrations. However, as it turned out later, the current epidemiological situation in Armenia does not allow me to make this trip," Pashinyan said.
The Armenian PM said it would have been a great honor for him to attend the jubilee parade in Moscow.
"I am confident that millions of residents of our countries will watch the festivities, mentally travelling to 1945 when our grandfathers proudly marched on Red Square," the Armenian premier said, calling the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War the common heritage, the memory about which unites peoples.
Pashinyan said he hoped that he would soon be able to meet with the Russian leader and discuss the issues of the two countries’ allied relations.
The Armenian premier’s trip to the Victory celebrations in Moscow was initially called into question after he and his family members contracted the coronavirus. However, Pashinyan said in early June he had fully recovered from the illness and his press office confirmed he would attend the military parade in Moscow.
At the invitation of Russia’s Defense Ministry, 75 Armenian troops will take part in the Victory Parade in Moscow on June 24. They have already arrived in the Russian capital.
Russia postponed its military parade traditionally held on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9 for a later date due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At a video conference with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on May 26, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that the anticipated Victory Parade would be held on Moscow’s Red Square on June 24.
The head of state explained he had chosen this date because June 24 was the day when in 1945 the legendary historic parade of victors took place, when soldiers, who fought for Moscow and defended Leningrad, who stood their ground for Stalingrad, liberated Europe and stormed Berlin, marched on Red Square.
The Russian president instructed the defense chief to make sure that there weren’t any risks to the health of the military parade’s participants.