Who of the foreign leaders will come to Putin on may 9
The Kremlin did not send official invitations to the heads of other States for celebrations dedicated to the 74th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War. On Wednesday, April 24, said the Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.
«This year, no one was specifically invited,» RIA Novosti quotes the answer of the head of the Kremlin press service to the question of journalists about who of the foreign leaders will be present at the celebrations and whether the winner of the presidential elections in Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky is invited to them.
Recall that last year at the victory parade in Moscow was attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Serbian President Alexander Vucic. A year earlier, President of Moldova Igor Dodon, who was on a visit to Russia, was present on the red square as a guest. Other heads of state were not invited, as the date was not an anniversary
It should be noted that the number of foreign guests present at the festive events dedicated to the anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic war in Moscow in recent years is declining. Thus, in 2005, the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Victory was attended by us President George Bush, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, French President Jacques Chirac, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Chinese President Hu Jintao, South Korean President No Mu Hyun, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, President of Serbia and Montenegro Svetozar Marovic, presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and acting President of Kyrgyzstan. British Prime Minister Tony Blair was unable to attend due to extreme employment, instead of him came to Moscow, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Also present were the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, former presidents of Poland and Cyprus General Wojciech Jaruzelski and Glavkos Clerides. The heads of Lithuania, Estonia, and Georgia demonstratively refused to come. Maybe the reason is really in the «new balance» date? But in 2015, when we celebrated 70 years of Victory, the composition of the guests was quite different.
Then I arrived in Moscow UN Secretary-General ban Ki-moon, Chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the President of the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the presidents of Venezuela, Vietnam, Egypt, India, Cyprus, Serbia, Macedonia, Mongolia, South Africa, Palestine, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the President of China, Chairman of the state Council of Cuba, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK, the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan. Most European leaders refused to come, including President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko.
What do you mean? Is this the result of Russia’s «isolation»? Or is it the growing tendency to rewrite history and belittle the feat of the Soviet people in that war?
Especially painful is the refusal to participate of the leaders of the CIS countries, especially Ukraine.
— The response, the Press Secretary of the Russian President concerned directly with Vladimir Zelensky, the elections which Moscow has not yet recognized officially, — said the Executive Director of the international monitoring organization CIS-EMO Stanislav Bychok.
— In this regard, the answer of Dmitry Peskov, obviously, was associated more with uncertainty in relation to Zelensky than with the festive events of May 9.
— Why not invite the same Lukashenka, Dodon? They are friends of Russia…
— Obviously, the invitations were sent to some leaders of the States, including Lukashenka and Dodon, and high-level politicians, but for some reason, the Kremlin decided not to advertise it, so as not to put those who can not come in an awkward position, as well as not to look in a bad light.
— a Trip to Moscow on Victory Day is a symbolic act for a foreign politician?
— A symbolic act that should show a friendly and allied position towards Russia. Politicians of different levels decide for themselves how appropriate it is for them to be present on may 9 in Moscow. For some, the label of «Pro-Russian» seems to be praise, for others, on the contrary, it is desirable to avoid this because of possible complications with the press and political opponents, when at every step you will need to explain that your Pro-Russian position is not a consequence of bribery or work for the Kremlin. In addition, Belarus, for example, hosts its events on victory Day, including, by the way, the action «Belarus remembers», by analogy with which Russia organized the «Immortal regiment».
— In recent years, the number of invited guests at the Parade on may 9 is steadily declining. Why?
— The main point here seems to be that the Second world war and, in particular, that part of it, which is called the Great Patriotic War, ceases to be a factor determining, at least symbolically, some rules of the game adopted by all in the international arena.
The European part of the Second world war is interpreted to a large extent as a fight between two totalitarian regimes, in which many peoples inhabiting, according to Timothy Snyder’s definition, the «bloody lands» of Central and Eastern Europe, the space between Vienna and Moscow, fell against their will. Although the Hitler regime is generally considered to be more criminal, attention is drawn to the fact that Soviet domination in this region of Europe, which is interpreted in purely negative categories, lasted much longer than the German one. Drawing Parallels with today, some see a significant similarity between, say, Anschluss Germany Austria in 1938 and the annexation of Crimea to Russia five years ago.
Thus, the appeal to the Great Patriotic war in itself does not necessarily lead to positive consequences — that for the perception of modern Russia, that for sympathy for the Stalinist Soviet Union. While the phobically portraying Russian and Russian narrative presupposes the «Russification» of Bolshevism and communism, especially in their most brutal manifestations, another trend, on the contrary, accuses Moscow itself of trying to privatize and, again, «Russify» the victory in the war.
what can Moscow do to improve its image? Can the Victory Day become a unifying principle that can reconcile Russia with its rivals?
— There is an opinion that Russia is doomed to geopolitical loneliness. On the one hand, the country is too big, strong and ambitious to become a Junior partner of other great powers. On the other hand, its international image today and in historical perspective is too ambivalent to serve as a magnet for most neighbors, close and distant. Victory day is gradually becoming more of a national Russian holiday, which is joined not by the country, but — the order of appearance — foreign politicians and citizens of other countries, who consider this holiday equally and their own. For the Russian post-Soviet space, Victory Day is one of the elements of preserving one’s own identity, as, for example, visiting the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Geopolitical loneliness, however, is not necessarily a negative characteristic. This is largely a chance to set realistic goals, internal development, and self-sufficiency. This change should be used.
— There are several reasons for refusing to invite world leaders to Moscow on May 9, — political scientist Ivan Lizan believes.
First, the foreign factor: the smaller the name, the fewer failures, and issues. Only those who want to come will come: Russia shows that it does not catch anyone by the hand, does not force anyone. The second reason — the domestic political, the Great Victory becomes for Russia something very intimate, deeply sincere.
What does it mean for foreign politicians to come to Moscow on May 9?
— About 7 years ago we could say that this is an ordinary visit. But now it is rather symbolic: a parade, an opportunity for meetings during events and conversations, that is, non-public diplomacy. Arrival — a sign of support for Russia, this can afford only a few politicians: Erdogan, for example.
— do foreign leaders Feel the pressure of their own establishment and external «partners» when deciding on a trip to Moscow?
— Probably, Yes. But I don’t know what it is. Leaders — Erdogan, Rouhani — can be guided by the interests of the state, ordinary presidents are forced to live within the electoral logic and adapt to public opinion and requests
In recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of invited guests at the Parade on May 9. Even Lukashenka does not come.
— There is a tendency to privatize the great Victory, not only in the post-Soviet republics but also in Russia. The victory of the blood and sweat of conquered Soviet people, but it now appears that the Russians could have won without the Ukrainians, and the latter does say that in the autumn of 1944 they were again occupied by the Russians when they liberated Ukraine from the Nazis.
Lukashenko also comes but rarely in Belarus held their own ceremonies.
«SP»: — Can the victory Day be the unifying beginning that can temporarily reconcile Russia with its opponents? Maybe we’re not using this tool enough? Especially in the relationship with the countries of the former Soviet Union?
— No, it can not: the world is on the path of fascism and draws inspiration from imperialism as one of the components of fascism. As for the use of Victory as a tool, it is important not to overdo it: everything is good in moderation. Russia needs new victories, not just an appeal to the feat of its ancestors.
«SP»: — Who of the foreign leaders could theoretically come today with an invitation?
— Erdogan, Rouhani, Tokayev, Lukashenka, Dodon, President of Serbia, head of Mongolia.