06:53 GMT10 April 2020
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    French opposition politicians consider the refusal to visit Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on May 9 by France's President Francois Hollande a "historic mistake".

    PARIS (Sputnik) — French opposition politicians consider the refusal to visit Victory Day celebrations in Moscow on May 9 by France's President Francois Hollande a "historic mistake," the opposition representatives said in a statement published on Friday in Le Figaro newspaper.

    "Since France has received an official invitation to participate in the commemorative ceremonies, … a boycott of this [Victory] day, whatever the reasons are, will not just be a historic mistake, but will also be considered as an insult and contempt by the majority of Russians," the statement signed by French lawmaker Thierry Mariani and ex-Minister of Defense Gerard Longuet read.

    Some 60 lawmakers from the Union for a Popular Movement and the Union of Democrats and Independents parties supported the statement.

    Several European leaders, apart from Hollande, declined Russia's invitation to visit the country's capital for celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in WWI, citing Moscow's alleged interference in Ukrainian conflict.

    According to Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, the heads of 27 states and governments are expected to be present at the large-scale Victory Day in Moscow.


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