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For the first time, Moscow’s Red Square saw the presence of NATO troops, with WWII allies France, United States and the United Kingdom forming guards of honour during a military parade to commemorate the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany. România liberanotes a number of high profile absentees, including Prince Charles and Joe Biden, the former because of the United Kingdom’s refusal to extradite vociferous Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky, who is charged with embezzlement at home, and the US vice-president for enjoying warm relations with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

For Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered “a soft-spoken speech that indicated openness to the world”, underlined by the surprise inclusion of EU anthem “Ode to Joy” at the end of the parade. Polish-Russian relations were further strengthened with President Medvedev handing to his Polish counterpart Bronisław Komorowski another package of files concerning the 1940 Katyń Massacre and an engagement to solve the problem of rehabilitation of the Polish officers murdered there.