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Friday, May 7, 2010

Russia's Putin Snubs VP Joe Biden - Won't Allow Him to Attend VE Parade; White House "Privately Furious"

 Via Weasel Zippers

Russian President Vladimir Putin has snubbed Britain's Prince Charles and U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden by refusing to allow them to attend a VE World War II Parade in Red Square to celebrate the 65th Anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis:

Vladimir Putin has snubbed both the Prince of Wales and the US vice-president, Joe Biden, by refusing to allow them to attend a parade in Red Square marking the 65th anniversary of the end of the second world war, the Guardian has learned.

Russia invited Gordon Brown and other heads of state to attend the Kremlin's celebrations on Sunday – the biggest ever. But with the prime minister unable to attend because of the general election, the Foreign Office suggested Prince Charles instead.

Last week, however, the prince was quietly stood down after Putin made it clear that he did not want him there – apparently in a sign of his continuing annoyance with the UK over its failure to extradite Boris Berezovsky, the Kremlin critic and former oligarch, to Russia.

Putin, Russia's prime minister, also snubbed Biden, who had planned to go to Moscow and has been left kicking his heels in Brussels. Biden is close to Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's president. During the 2008 Russian-Georgia war Putin famously threatened Saakashvili, pledging to "hang him by the balls".

The White House is privately furious at the snub. Barack Obama told Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, he was unable to attend but had confidently offered Biden as his replacement. Moscow's diplomatic corps has been abuzz all week with news of Putin's unexpected veto. . . .READ MORE
It may be they don't want Biden and Prince Charles to see the 1,000 billboards in Russia covered with Joseph Stalin's smiling face!

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