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The United Kingdom has reportedly not extended invitations to Russia and Belarus to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, snubbing the pair of countries responsible for the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
The queen’s state funeral is scheduled for Sep. 19, and the country has invited roughly 500 foreign diplomats, including many heads of state. Moscow attempted to get ahead of the snub last week by announcing that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be attending the funeral. The U.K. has also snubbed Burma, which has long been the subject of U.K. economic sanctions.
President Biden and first lady Jill Biden have confirmed they will attend the funeral.
The U.K., U.S. and allies have carried out an expansive campaign to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion, both with economic sanctions and military funding.
Queen Elizabeth II with US President Joe Biden in the Grand Corridor during their visit to Windsor Castle on June 13, 2021 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Belarus has played a key role in facilitating Russia’s aggression, allowing Russian troops to travel freely within its borders to assail Ukraine from multiple sides.
The snub comes at an embarrassing time for Russian troops, who just suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukrainian troops say they regained more than 1,000 square miles of territory in the country’s northeast Kharkiv region.
A tank of Ukrainian Army advances to the fronts in the northeastern areas of Kharkiv, Ukraine on September 08, 2022. Ukrainian forces say they have recaptured more than 20 settlements from Russian forces. (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) (Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
The day of the queen’s funeral will see a military procession carry her coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, where her service will be held. It will be the first time a British monarch’s funeral has been held in the abbey since the 1700s.
The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Westminster will lead the service with sermons before newly-minted Prime Minister Liz Truss is called to speak.