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France invites Russia to the anniversary of the Normandy landings. White House 'not thrilled'

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The White House is not satisfied with the French president's decision to invite a Russian representative to the upcoming celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, writes Politico. The head of one of the House of Representatives committees also reacted sharply. Michael McCaul said it was “disappointing” and “the invitation comes as Russia openly threatens another world war.”

In France On June 6, the 80th anniversary of the landing of Allied troops in Normandy will be celebrated. The president will attend the event USA Joe BidenKing of Great Britain Charles III and chancellor German Olaf Scholz. The organizer of the D-Day commemoration, Mission Liberation, headed by former French ambassador to Washington Philippe Etienne, announced last month that representatives would be invited Russiabut no Vladimir Putin.

Landing in Normandy on June 6, 1944On June 6, 1944, Allied forces – approximately 160,000. soldiers supported by thousands of planes and ships – landed on five beaches in Normandy.Reuters Archive

Putin has already appeared at the celebrations

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It would not be the first time that Russian representatives participated in a ceremony on the D-Day anniversary. Putin attended the 60th and 70th anniversary celebrations, which took place a few months after annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014.

French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to invite a representative of the Russian government has sparked outrage among some European leaders, writes Politico, emphasizing that the D-Day anniversary is intended to commemorate the collective sacrifice of allies during World War II to preserve democracy. Meanwhile, Russia has been conducting unjustified and brutal actions for over two years war on Ukraine.

A British government official told the website that France's actions, not only inviting Russia to D-Day but also hosting it Paris by Chinese President Xi Jinping and sending a French representative to Vladimir Putin's inauguration, are “disturbing”.

American reaction

According to Politico, the White House is not satisfied with Paris' decision. However, as an anonymous White House official told the website, “perhaps this will remind Russians that they once fought real Nazis, and not imaginary ones in Ukraine as they do now.”

In the Biden administration, senior members of the national security team, and even the president himself, perceive Macron as believing that he has influence on Putin, Politico points out. Therefore, the White House has largely accepted his efforts to maintain diplomatic relations with Moscow, even as Russia has ignored Western economic sanctions and continues its attack on Ukraine.

“One of the Kremlin's most vile propaganda narratives downplays the significance of D-Day and the sacrifices made on the beaches of Normandy by American, British, French and other allied soldiers,” Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Politico. “It is disappointing that France invited Russia to commemorate an event that the Russians themselves openly consider pointless. Not to mention that this invitation comes when Russia is openly threatening another world war,” he added.


Main photo source: PAP/EPA/BONNIE CASH/POOL

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