"Nikolic shouldn't attend Victory Day parade in Moscow"
European Parliament (EP) official Eduard Kukan has said that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic "should not attend the military parade in Moscow on May 9."Source: Blic, Tanjug
Kukan heads a delegation of the EP visiting Serbia this week, and spoke for the Belgrade-daily Blic.
It was announced in Moscow earlier that Nikolic had accepted President Vladimir Putin's invitation to attend the marking of the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism.
According the Slovak MEP, Nikolic should, "like other leaders of Western countries," visit a monument honoring soldiers who fought in the Second World War, and if that is all he does, "nobody will blame him."
"That is, for example, what Czech President Milos Zeman and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will do. Therefore it is very important what your president will be doing in Moscow, whether he will go to the parade or not," said Kukan.
He also told the newspaper about his concern over the joint Serbian-Russian military exercises planned for September.
"I spoke about that yesterday (Thursday) with Prime Minister Vucic and other officials. They assured us, and even say that in front of Russians, that the EU is given priority by this government," said Kukan.
The Ukrainian crisis "has divided the world" said the daily, as heads of state or government of the United States, France and Britain will not attend the May 9 Victory Day parade in Moscow, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also miss it.
EU Council Chairman Donald Tusk said this week he would also not travel to Moscow for the parade.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed the arrival of presidents of the Czech Republic and Cyprus, as well as prime ministers of Slovakia and Greece, "prompting the western media to say that Putin had divided Europe."
When it comes to countries that not EU members, Lavrov said that Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the president of the Serb entity, Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Norway all confirmed the arrival of their leaders.
China's Xi Jinping, as well as presidents of South Africa, Mongolia and Vietnam, and leaders of Cuba and North Korea will be in Moscow on May 9, in all, leaders of 26 countries.