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Home NATIONALPresident won’t attend Victory Day parade in Moscow
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Thu, 26 Mar, 2015 12:01:45 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Mar 26
President Sauli Niinistö. File Photo Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö will not be attending the Victory Day parade on May 9 in Moscow.
The Office of the President confirmed the news to STT.
The sole reason for the decision is the crisis in Ukraine and the subsequent situation. 
The decision has been relayed to Russia through diplomatic channels.
Finland will continue discussions with other Nordic countries regarding their level of participation in the parade.
A file photo taken on May 9, 2013 shows a column of Russia's T-90 tanks rolling at the Red Square in Moscow, during Victory Day parade. Photo AFP-LEHTIKUVA.
Russia has invited a number of state leaders to attend the celebrations to commemorate the end of the Second World War. The parade will take place in Red Square.
A number of leaders including United States President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and European Union President Donald Tusk have been invited to the programme.
Similarly, the heads of state of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will not participate in the celebrations.
Ten years ago, former president Tarja Halonen took part in the 60the anniversary celebrations of the end of the war.
The holiday marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War in May 1945. 
Western nations celebrate the end of the war a day earlier, on May 8, while in Russia, Victory Day is celebrated on May 9 as Germany’s surrender was signed late in the evening on May 8, 1945 when it was already May 9 in Russia.
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