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Kyrgyz President Sits Out Moscow WWII Parade After Staffers Test Positive for Virus

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Zheenbekov

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Zheenbekov pulled out of attending Russia’s Victory Day parade after two members of his delegation tested positive for coronavirus upon arriving in Moscow, his press service said Wednesday.

Zheenbekov was one of several leaders set to attend the parade on Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War II.

Zheenbekov will now spend three days in self-isolation, his press service said. The two staffers who tested positive for Covid-19 will self-isolate for 14 days.

The leaders of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Serbia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — in addition to the heads of breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia — were present at Wednesday’s parade.

The parade — which was postponed from May 9 due to the coronavirus — is being seen as a major showcase for President Vladimir Putin ahead of a nationwide vote on constitutional reforms that would allow him to extend his rule by 12 years.

Observers have warned that staging the mass event, which featured 14,000 troops from 13 countries, could trigger a new wave of coronavirus infections. Russia has continued to see thousands of new Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, surpassing 600,000 on Wednesday.

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