WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday he was considering attending Russia’s May 9 Victory Day commemorative events after President Vladimir Putin extended an invitation.
“I appreciate the invitation. It is right in the middle of political season, so I’ll see if I can do it, but I would love to go if I could,” Trump told reporters before departing the White House for campaign-related events.
Putin presides over an annual parade to commemorate the Soviet Union’s World War Two victory over Nazi Germany, but the Kremlin has said next year’s 75th anniversary would be marked with great pomp.
Trump called it “a very big deal celebrating the end of the war.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was cited by RIA news agency as saying on Thursday that Putin’s invitation to his U.S. counterpart to attend Victory Day in Moscow had been “received with interest,” but there had not yet been any reply from the White House.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
While U.S.-Russia relations have hit a low point after American intelligence agencies concluded that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump, the two leaders have maintained what appears to be a good relationship.
Putin aide Yuri Ushakov told Russian reporters in June that invitations were also extended to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese President Xi Jinping.