Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have sent congratulatory messages to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his country's Victory Day, local media have reported. The annual event commemorates the end of the Second World War.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency on Monday, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman "wished Putin good health and the Russian people further progress and prosperity". The Bahrain News Agency reported that King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa sent an almost identical message to Putin.
The Bahraini monarch also praised the level of bilateral relations between Manama and Moscow, and stressed his "keenness to advance them".
Russia celebrated the 77th anniversary of its victory over Nazi Germany with a parade of 11,000 troops in Moscow. Speaking at the parade, Putin said that his country's "intervention" in Ukraine was necessary because the West "was preparing to invade our lands, including Crimea."
The 69-year-old Kremlin leader has often likened his country's war in Ukraine to the challenge faced by the Soviet Union when Adolf Hitler's Germany invaded in 1941. The Kremlin said that no Western leader had been invited to attend this year's Victory Day events, as has been the case in previous years.