The Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign Ministry did not explain the absence of a high-level Israeli delegation to the ceremony, which will be held at a time of tension with Russia over its decision this month to lift a five-year ban on the sale of its S-300 air-defense missile system to Iran, with delivery possibly scheduled for the end of year.
The Russian ceremony, however, falls on Shabbat, which Israeli leaders do not publicly violate, although sometimes they have gone to extraordinary lengths to participate in public events while still observing Shabbat.
Netanyahu will be attending Israel’s ceremony on Thursday, May 7, to mark the end of WWII in Europe.
As of April 7, Russia has said the heads of 26 countries have confirmed their attendance at the May 9 celebrations. Among those who will attend is Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.