Putin: Trump visit to Moscow for military parade would be ‘right step'

A WELCOME: President Donald Trump, left, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin give a joint news conference following their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on July 16, 2018. Mikhail Metzel/Tass/Abaca Press/Tribune News Service

Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would be a “right step” if U.S. counterpart Donald Trump accepts his invitation to attend the upcoming May 9 military parade in Red Square commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“The presence of the leader of a country which made a major contribution to the fight against Nazism at a ceremony marking the end of World War II, even amid a preelection campaign, would be a right step,” Putin told reporters in Brasilia on Thursday on the sidelines of a summit of BRICS leaders from Russia, India, China, Brazil and South Africa.

The Russian leader also warned that the overthrow of Bolivia’s socialist president, Evo Morales, and the chaos that it has sparked reminded him of events in Libya following the ouster of Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

“There’s practically no functioning government, there’s no direct foreign intervention, but the country is on the verge of chaos,” he said, describing the events as “a worrying signal” for the wider Latin American region. Putin added, though, that he hopes that new authorities in Bolivia will maintain ties with Russia.

Speaking about the conflict in Ukraine, Putin welcomed the recent pullback of some forces but called for withdrawing all opposing sides from the line of hostilities. He also stressed the need to extend a temporary law on local self-government in Ukraine’s disputed Donbas region that expires at the end of the year.

If this doesn’t happen, a planned summit of leaders from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine aimed at cementing efforts to resolve the five-year conflict between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian army won’t make sense, he said.

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