Finnish President declines Moscow’s Victory Day invitation

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at a press conference in Russia in August 2014. (Ivan Sekretarev /AFP/Getty Images)
Moscow’s Victory Day parade will be attended by 26 international leaders, who, unlike Niinistö and Merkel, have not declined Putin’s invitation. (Ivan Sekretarev /AFP/Getty Images)
This year’s festivities in Red Square will mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö will not be participating in Moscow’s celebrations on May 9.

According to Finnish news agency STT, President Sauli Niinistö will not be attending Moscow’s Victory Day celebrations owing to the Ukraine conflict and the tense international situation that is has led to.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited many heads of state to the Victory Day celebrations in May, which will be more festive than usual to mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe in 1945 when Nazi-led Germany surrendered to the then-Soviet Union and Western Allies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also announced that she will not be attending Moscow’s Victory Day parade.

Niinistö’s press secretary Liina Aulin told Yle that Russia’s state leadership was informed about the Finnish President’s decision on Tuesday.

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