Trump says he’s ‘thinking about’ attending Russia’s May Day parade
The president told reporters outside the White House that he was “invited” by Russian President Vladimir Putin and is “thinking about” attending the procession, which commemorates the end of the Second World War with a display of the country’s military might.
“It’s right in the middle of our campaign season, but I would certainly think about it”, Mr Trump told reporters on Friday.
Not to be confused with May Day parades, the Moscow Victory Day Parade on 9 May 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the fall of Nazi Germany on the war’s Eastern front.
“President Putin invited me to the… It’s a very big deal, celebrating the end of the war, etcetera, etcetera, a very big deal, so I appreciate the invitation”, Mr Trump said. “It is right in the middle of political season, so I’ll see if I can do it, but I would love to go if I could.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr Trump had been invited earlier this year.
Mr Peskov told reporters that Mr Trump had reacted positively to the invitation.
On Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reportedly confirmed to Russian news agency RIA that Mr Putin’s invitation was “received with interest”, according to Reuters, but the White House did not respond with an affirmative.
Mr Trump’s response on Friday arrives amid ongoing tensions between the two countries, including Russia’s manoeuvring in Ukraine and its interference in 2016 elections and US politics, in Washington and on social media.
Facing the president and members of his cabinet at the White House last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is leading the impeachment charge against Mr Trump, said that she likely was thinking, “All roads lead to Putin” while addressing the president.