BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic on Friday expressed his indignation at European Parliament's delegates trying to talk him out of attending the Victory Parade in Moscow on May 9, and lambasted such attempts as "improper," his press service said.
This came after Slovakia's Eduard Kukan, who headed a delegation of the European Parliament to Serbia earlier this week, told the local Blic newspaper that Nikolic should follow the example of other Western leaders who refused Russia's invitations to attend the military parade, and opt for honouring the memory of WWII fallen heroes by visiting a monument instead.
The president's office underscored that Kukan's suggestion ran counter to the interests of the Serbian people, the majority of whom support stronger relations with Russia.
The Serbian president earlier accepted the invitation to attend the May 9 parade that will mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. There will be at least 26 foreign leaders attending, according to the Kremlin.
Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have declined the invitation to join in the celebrations, citing Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.