President won't be in Moscow on May 9

Take note – story published 8 years ago

Latvian President Andris Bērziņš on Tuesday finally made public his decision on whether to attend planned 'Victory Day' celebrations in Moscow on May 9.

A brief statement released by his office said:

"Taking into account the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 19 January, as well as Russia's conduct in eastern Ukraine and the facts that innocent civilians are dying and suffering, the President Andris Berzins does not see that it is possibe to go to the May 9 celebrations in Moscow.
"The State President will mark the victory over Nazism in the traditional way in Latvia, together with veterans who fought on both sides."

The announcement seems to draw a line under a question that has dogged Berzins for weeks after he first said he had not made up his mind, then that he had but that he would not reveal what it was.

However, earlier on Tuesday he hinted that he might possibly go to Moscow sooner than May 9, though his statement made no mention of any such possibility.

May 9 is marked in Russia as 'Victory Day' and includes a huge military parade though central Moscow.

Western countries generally mark Victory in Europe day on May 8 with smaller events.

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