MOSCOW (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump will not be coming to Moscow for Victory Day celebrations on May 9, the White House said Tuesday.
The White House confirmed that Trump has declined the Kremlin invitation to attend Russia’s Victory Day celebrations on the 75th anniversary of World War II victory — the nation’s most important holiday.
Trump said last year he appreciated the invitation, but wasn’t sure if he could go as the celebration falls “right in the middle of political season.”
The Kremlin confirmed receiving the White House note.
“Via diplomatic channels, we have received information that the (U.S.) president will not be coming,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday, adding that it remains unclear who will represent the U.S. on the Victory Day in Moscow.
In an interview with the state-run Tass news agency, a part of which was released Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would be “a mistake” for world leaders not to attend the Victory Day celebrations this year.
“I think that, concerning former members of the anti‑Hitler alliance, the right thing to do would be to attend (our event), from both a domestic political stance and a moral one,” Putin said. “We look forward to seeing them and we will be glad if they come. If not, well, that’s their choice. But I think that would be a mistake for them.”