Putin not welcome at D-Day event due to Ukraine war, French organisers say

The 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy

PARIS (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be invited to the 80th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings in June, the French organisers said, although some Russian representatives would be welcome in recognition of the country's war-time sacrifice.

"For more than two years now, the Russian Federation has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, which France condemns in the strongest possible terms," the organisers said in a statement to Reuters.

"Given these circumstances, President Putin will not be invited to take part in the Normandy landings commemoration. Russia will nevertheless be invited to be represented, given the importance of its role and the sacrifice of the Soviet people, so that their contribution to the victory in 1945 can be honoured," they added.

The commemorations in June mark the day when more than 150,000 Allied soldiers invaded France to drive out the forces of Nazi Germany. Millions of Soviet soldiers died in the war.

Putin would have been unlikely to attend the Normandy event. He has rarely left Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, in part because of an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant for his arrest that Moscow says it does not recognise.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)