Here's why Russia, Belarus, Myanmar not invited to Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on 19 September
After the funeral service, Queen Elizabeth II's coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. A reception in Windsor is likely to include the visiting heads of state from Commonwealth nations and key UK allies
London: Russia, which is engaged in a conflict with neighbouring Ukraine, its key ally Belarus and the junta-ruled Myanmar will not be asked to send representatives to the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II scheduled at Westminster Abbey in London on Monday, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Around 500 world leaders and foreign dignitaries, including kings and queens and heads of state and government are expected to arrive for the funeral, one of the UK’s most significant diplomatic events in recent history.
According to UK media reports, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been extended an invitation to the State Funeral last held 57 years ago for Britain’s war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.
The Times’ quotes government sources to say that in a break from protocol neither Russia nor Belarus, which has supported Russia in the conflict with Ukraine, would be asked to send a representative to the state funeral.
Myanmar, which has also supported Moscow, is not on the invite list as the UK has not had formal diplomatic relations with the South-east Asian country since a military coup removed Aung San Suu Kyi’s government last year. While invited, Ukraine President Volodymr Zelensky is unlikely to attend given the ongoing conflict.
Citing Whitehall sources, the BBC also reported that representatives from Russia, Belarus and Myanmar have not been invited to the state funeral of the Queen.
In what is considered one of the biggest diplomatic and logistical challenges in the days ahead for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), some countries with which the UK shares less than friendly relations, such as Iran, will only be represented at an ambassadorial level.
Some reports of world leaders being transported by bus to the Abbey on the day of the funeral do not apply to every visiting dignitary, with US President Joe Biden expected to arrive in his armoured Cadillac known as the “Beast”.
Many of the other world leaders will also use their own vehicles, with invitees being requested to be flexible in order to avoid gridlock in the heart of London on the day of the funeral.
Besides Biden, world leaders who have confirmed their attendance so far include the prime ministers of New Zealand, Canada and Australia, President Ramaphosa of South Africa and President Steinmeier of Germany.
Monarchs expected to attend include King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Mxima of the Netherlands and King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.
According to reports, King Charles III will host a reception for the overseas leaders at Buckingham Palace in London on Sunday evening before the funeral service on Monday at 11am local time.
Visiting heads of state, expected to begin arriving in the UK from Friday, will be able to attend the lying-in-state of the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall on Sunday and sign a condolence book at Lancaster House near Buckingham Palace.
After the funeral service on Monday, the Queen’s coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. A reception in Windsor is likely to include the visiting heads of state from Commonwealth nations and key UK allies.
A second reception will take place at Church House within the Abbey grounds in London for other visiting dignitaries, including senior government ministers and diplomats.
Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said that Europe can pull through the upcoming winter with the energy reserves it has, but it would be hard to meet the energy demands the next winter as it plans to end Russian gas supplies completely next year
Ukraine had been under Moscow's spiritual leadership since at least the 17th century, but part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church broke with Moscow in 2019 over Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in Donbas
US media recently reported that some senior officials were beginning to encourage Ukraine to consider talks, which Zelensky has so far rejected without a prior withdrawal of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory