Trump declines visit to Moscow in May

Trump declines visit to Moscow in May
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE has declined an offer to visit to Moscow for an annual Russian celebration in May, a senior administration official said Tuesday. 

"The President has declined the invitation to attend Russia’s Victory Day Celebration," the official said, without providing an explanation for the decision.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier Tuesday that Trump would not attend Russia’s Victory Day celebration on May 9, according to The Associated Press. Peskov also didn't offer a reason, but said the Kremlin received notice through "diplomatic channels."

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Trump said in November that he was considering an invitation from Russia to attend the celebration, but indicated he may decide against attending because it would coincide with his reelection campaign. 

“I was invited. I am thinking about it. It is right in the middle of our campaign season,” Trump told reporters at the time. 

Russia’s annual Victory Day parade commemorates the May 1945 Allied victory over Nazi Germany. 

Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHouse Democrats object to Trump sending ventilators to Russia Overnight Defense: Trump to withdraw US from Open Skies Treaty | Pentagon drops ban on recruits who had virus | FBI says Corpus Christi shooting terror-related Trump: China is 'desperate' for Biden to win MORE called it a “mistake” for world leaders not to attend Victory Day celebrations this year, the AP noted, citing an interview with the state-run Tass news agency partially released on Tuesday. 

“I think that, concerning former members of the anti‑Hitler alliance, the right thing to do would be to attend [our event], from both a domestic political stance and a moral one,” Putin reportedly said. “We look forward to seeing them and we will be glad if they come. If not, well, that’s their choice. But I think that would be a mistake for them.”

The development comes in the midst of a worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has 761 confirmed cases while Russia has 10.

--This report was updated at 2:04 p.m.