Merkel declines Putin's invitation to military parade marking 70th anniversary of Nazi defeat

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declined an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend a military parade in Moscow marking the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis.

Merkel's spokesman says the German leader instead proposed taking part in a memorial and wreath-laying ceremony in Moscow on May 10, which Putin accepted.

Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that Merkel wanted to commemorate the event "appropriately and with dignity."

He says that "in view of the Russian actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine participating in the military parade was not appropriate."