Vladimir Putin never planned to attend Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, the Kremlin said on Wednesday in response to reports that the Russian president wasn’t even invited to the upcoming historic service over his invasion of Ukraine.
The source said the full list of invitations had not yet been finalized, but that officials from three countries had been ruled out: Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.
In the case of Russia and Belarus, the source said their exclusion was due to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which Belarus has supported. In the case of Myanmar, it is because of the treatment of the Rohingya people, the source said.
The Palace sends invitations to state funerals on the advice of the government, after members of the civil and diplomatic services have considered the political implications of inviting certain leaders.
Palace protocol is not to reveal invitees to family events, and it has not commented on the guest list.
Typically every country that the United Kingdom has normal diplomatic relations with would be invited to a state funeral, such as the one which will be held for the late monarch in London next Monday.
Nations are usually represented by their political leader, head of state, a senior member of the government or their ambassador to the UK.
A second UK government source told CNN that up to 500 foreign dignitaries were expected to attend the funeral.
The UK has been one of the strongest opponents of Russia’s war and one of the biggest supporters of Ukraine, providing money, weapons and aid.
The UK has also sanctioned a range of military officials and businesses in Myanmar over what it has described as the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim group in the country’s majority Buddhist state which has suffered decades of persecution.
Earlier this month, Myanmar’s ruling junta sentenced the UK’s former ambassador to the country to a year in prison over immigration charges.