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Rope Walking: WWII Victory Day Invitation Catches Switzerland Off-Guard

Author: Ayre от 20.04.2015, 10:00
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  • Rehearsal of Victory Parade on Red Square

     MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Tages-Anzeiger daily said late Saturday that while a number of Western heads of state chose to boycott the Victory Day celebration on May 9, Bern has not yet formulated its position.

     

    Swiss leadership fears that sending President Simonetta Sommaruga or Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to Moscow may offend Kiev. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry spokesman said last week bilateral relations may be on the line if foreign states accept Moscow's invitation, thus displaying "solidarity with the aggressor."

     

    As an alternative, Switzerland may follow the United States in choosing its ambassador to Russia to take part in the Kremlin military parade featuring 16,000 troops and the latest equipment.

     

    On Friday, meanwhile, Washington urged countries to take into account the events in Ukraine before considering Moscow's invitation to attend the Victory Day commemoration.

    "The Federal Council has not decided yet," the federation's executive body spokesman Andre Simonazzi told the publication, while the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs declined to comment.

     

    Leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven declined the invitation in light of Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

     

    At least 25 state leaders have so far accepted Moscow's invitation. A full list of the participants in the events will be announced by the end of April 2015.


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