MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend Holocaust commemorations in Poland this month, Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Tuesday.
Sources told Reuters on Monday that Putin was unlikely to join world leaders gathering at the site of the Auschwitz death camp because distrust caused by the conflict in Ukraine has cast a pall on arrangements. "There is no such a trip on the president's schedule,"Peskov said, adding that Putin had not received an official invitation to attend the events.
Poland, which has criticised Moscow over its role in the Ukraine crisis, did not send a full diplomatic invitation to Putin, wary of the domestic political consequences of inviting the Russian leader, sources said.
Peskov added that, as far as Moscow understands, there are usually no official invitations to such events but Putin had not received a personal invitation either. "He will not go but of course we have attached and do attach great importance to all memorial events, especially on the 70th anniversary of victory (in World War Two), including those that will take place in Poland," Peskov was quoted as saying by Interfax.
Moscow and the West are locked in their worst standoff since the Cold War over the conflict in Ukraine.