Moscow Expects UN Secretary-General to Attend Victory Day Celebration

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Russia expects United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to attend Moscow's grand celebration of Victory Day next month, despite numerous Western leaders shunning the event.

Deputy Foreign Ministry Gennady Gatilov told state news agency TASS on Thursday that the South Korean has been sent an invitation and is expected to come.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, major Russian allies in Asia, are also expected. But the South Korean president has apparently declined and will be represented by an envoy at the event, TASS reported earlier this month.

A number of Western leaders — including of Germany, the U.S., Britain and all three Baltic states — are reportedly snubbing the event because of Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

Moscow plans this year to hold its biggest anniversary celebration of Victory Day since Nazi Germany surrendered 70 years ago.

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