EU Council presidency to be factored into President Bērziņš’ Victory Day invitation to Moscow, foreign minister says

Latvian President Andris Bērziņš
DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

Rinkēvičs refused to give a definite answer about whether Bērziņš should go to Moscow for the May 9 celebrations, saying he would like to discuss the matter with the president first.

“I would like to note that the context of this matter ought to be taken into account as well,” Rinkēvičs said. “We are the presiding country, therefore, any choice of decision will be judged in this context. Of course, [..] at the moment, I would really like to see the EU take a joint position. Before any decisions are made, the EU ought to discuss this matter as well.”

He added that several state leaders have already said they would not participate in the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow. They had every right to make such a decision, “however, let us not forget that in this specific situation, we are also the presiding country of the EU and, of course, the recent events, I believe, have made it difficult for several state leaders to attend these events, and this, too, must be considered”.

As reported, Russia is preparing for large-scale celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, and Latvian President Andris Bērziņš has been invited to the event along with other state leaders.

When recently asked whether the president plans to attend the ceremony, the president’s press secretary Līga Krapāne told LETA that “there is enough time to assess the course of situation and to eventually make a decision“.

US President Barack Obama was invited to the said ceremony as well, but has declined to come. The press service of the Lithuanian president has informed that Dalia Grybauskaitė will not be attending the event either.

The invitees list also includes North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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