Home » Russia invited to World War II commemoration in Normandy, but Putin not welcome

Russia invited to World War II commemoration in Normandy, but Putin not welcome

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© AFP

Russia will be invited to celebrate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landings in Normandy during World War II. But Russian President Vladimir Putin will have to stay home: he is not on the guest list. The organization of the commemoration, Mission Libération, announced on Tuesday that the president is not welcome due to the Russian war in Ukraine.

“Russia will be invited to be represented so that the importance of the Soviet Union’s efforts and sacrifices, as well as its contribution to the 1945 victory, can be honored,” the organization said. No details were given about the level at which Russia might be represented at these commemorations.

Putin was invited to the commemoration ten years ago, despite the Russian annexation of the then Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea three months earlier. His presence recognized the heavy price that Russia paid in the fight against Nazism.

Normandy eventually became the scene of the first meeting between Putin and his then Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Crimea.

Putin was also not invited to the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019. He then said that was “absolutely no problem”. He called on France not to “exaggerate” the importance of the Allies and recalled the 27 million Soviet soldiers who lost their lives during the war.

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