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Putin explains reasons for not inviting Polish, Lithuanian leaders to Kaliningrad anniversary celebrations


SVETLOGORSK (Kaliningrad region), July 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Polish and Lithuanian presidents were not invited to the celebrations of Kaliningrad's 750th anniversary because this is a domestic event, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

He said that allegations that the Polish leader took offence were wrong.

"We made the celebration of the 750th anniversary of Kaliningrad [the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea] a domestic Russian event," Putin said.

"The trilateral meeting [of the Russian, German and French leaders] is attached to this event and there is nothing unusual about it. Did Russia took offence when Schroeder and Chirac met with Kwasniewski [Polish president] in Weimar?" he said.

About 100 Polish and Lithuanian guests were invited to Kaliningrad, Putin added.

The German chancellor and the French president supported him.

"The invitation to the Kaliningrad anniversary celebrations means trust in Germany and me and aims to promote bilateral relations," Schroeder said.

"This is our traditional trilateral format," Chirac said.

"The existing format does not imply participation of other countries," Putin added.

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