Russian president Vladimir Putin turned down an offer to attend NATO summit which is set to take place in Turkey, reports Reuters with a reference to a high-ranking NATO representative.
“We were informed that the Russian president does not intent to arrive. Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be present instead,” stated a diplomat who preferred to remain unidentified.
At the same time, NATO's officials stated that they continue talks with Moscow regarding this subject matter and that they haven't yet received any official statements as to whether or not Mr. Putin will be present.
According to NATO's spokesman James Appaturai, Moscow still has not come up with a definite answer. There has been no official statement of Putin's refusal to visit the summit. “But it can be said with almost 100% certainty that he will not come,” added Appaturai.
Head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov stated that he had not received an invitation from the summit's direction. “No one has invited me yet,” added he.
One of the possible reasons Russian president refuses to arrive to Istanbul to take part in the upcoming summit could be fact that the question of seven new Eastern European members including the Baltic countries of the former USSR entering the alliance will be addressed at the summit.
Moscow has already expressed its concern several times about the borders of its former Cold War enemy approaching Russia.
NATO summit will take place in Istanbul, Turkey between June 21-29.