Brussels: Soldiers of the anti-Hitler
coalition rather than NATO will take part in the Victory
Parade in Moscow on Sunday, Russian Permanent Representative to
NATO Dmitry Rogozin has said.
Servicemen from the United States, the United Kingdom and
France had been invited to take part in the parade.
"NATO has 28 member countries, and some of them (Germany,
Italy and Romania) were on the other side of the World War II
frontline. No one planned to invite NATO (to the Moscow
parade). The marching of German or Italian servicemen on Red
Square would have been strange," he said yesterday.
"Russia holds the policy of historical reconciliation
with former foes, but their participation in the parade is a
different matter. Meanwhile, US, British and French soldiers
really fought for the common victory. One may endlessly argue
about the contribution of particular countries to the common
cause, but that does not lessen the feat of soldiers who died
fighting the common enemy," he said.
"Due to its peculiarities, NATO never marks World War I
and WW II anniversaries, because those wars divided Europe
into two warring camps," Rogozin said.
As for the Russian public debates on the participation of
foreign servicemen in the Victory Parade, Rogozin said, "I
must tell all the skeptics who object to the presence of
`NATO` on Red Square that there are similar skeptics in the
West. Some people (in the West) claim that Americans, British
and French citizens must not bow to the `Russian bear`."