"Serbian soldiers could take part in Moscow parade"
The Serbian government is still weighing whether to accept an invitation from Moscow for Serbian soldiers "to march on Red Square," writes a Belgrade daily.Source: Vecernje novosti
This concerns the upcoming Victory Day parade on May 9, Vecernje Novosti is reporting.
Organizers of the big ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the collapse of Hitler's Germany are still waiting for a response from Belgrade, writes the newspaper.
Russian diplomatic circles have been quoted as saying that there was "still time for Serbia to declare itself."
On the other hand, no one from the government could definitively say on Sunday whether Serbian soldiers will participate.
However, unofficially, Serbia, as a country that emerged victorious from the Second World War, is "closer to the decision to participate in the celebration," according to the daily.
"However, what may sway us is pressure from America and the European Union," said the article, and added that representatives of the West argue that relations between Serbia and Russia are too close, which does not suit the foreign policy of Brussels and Washington.
Many representatives of western countries will not attend the military parade because of the war in Ukraine and the cooling of relations, as they, under pressure from the U.S., decided to refuse the invitation from Moscow.
The hosts have, as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu explained, invited 16 military units from friendly countries, "as well as members of the anti-Hitler coalition," writes Vecernje Novosti.
"Nine countries have confirmed participation. Russia waits for the response from five countries, while two countries have declined," said Shoigu.
Whatever decision the government makes, the article continues, President Nikolic is certain to be among the 25 presidents on Red Square on May 9.
He will join leaders of the Organization of Collective Security countries, whose members include Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.
Soldiers from China and India will most likely take part in the military parade.
This year's anniversary parade will be one of the biggest so far, with more than 15,000 soldiers, officers and cadets taking part.
Five years ago at the Victory Day parade saw participation of 11,135 soldiers.