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2 Jun, 2020 19:13

Be our guest! Russia invites Pentagon chief to take part in Victory Day parade

Be our guest! Russia invites Pentagon chief to take part in Victory Day parade

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu invited US Defense Secretary Mark Esper to visit the upcoming Victory Day parade in Moscow. The 75th-anniversary event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The rare invitation was made on Tuesday, when the two officials held phone talks, Russia’s Defense Ministry revealed in a statement.

While the Red Square parade marking the victory over Nazi Germany is traditionally held on May 9, it has been postponed this year, owing to the coronavirus situation. Instead, the parade will be held on June 24 – the date on which the original Victory Day parade was held back in 1945.

Also on rt.com NINETEEN world armies to join Russians for annual Red Square Victory Parade

It remains unclear whether Esper will actually attend, as the Russian military have not yet said whether or not he has accepted the invitation. No official word on this matter has yet been forthcoming from the Pentagon either.

Apart from the upcoming celebrations, the two military chiefs discussed measures to “de-conflict and stabilize the situation in Syria, as well as to ensure the security of military contingents in Afghanistan and other regions of the world.” Shoigu and Esper also talked about arms control and US-Russia cooperation in fighting coronavirus.

“The Russian side has expressed concerns over the US’ consistent destruction of international arms control treaties, including the Open Skies Treaty,” the ministry said.

While US-Russia relations have been rather strained over the past few years, the two nations showed some willingness to cooperate on action to end the pandemic. For example, Moscow and Washington have supplied each other with the medical supplies and equipment needed to fight the disease.

Also on rt.com The peak of the spread of Covid-19 in Russia has passed. Postponed Victory Day parade will be held on June 24 – Putin

The US is the worst coronavirus-affected nation in the world, with more than 1.8 million cases having so far been recorded, including more than 107,000 deaths. Russia has been badly hit by the pandemic as well – it has recorded over 420,000 cases, with more than 5,000 people having succumbed to the disease.

Worldwide, more than 6.4 million people have been infected by the deadly virus, and nearly 380,000 have died from Covid-19.

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