Vladimir Putin will snub a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, due to the frosty diplomatic relations between Warsaw and Moscow in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.
The Russian president will not join world leaders commemorating the victims of the Holocaust on 27 January as he didn't receive a formal invitation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Interfax news agency.
More than one million people, most of them Jews, died in the German Nazi extermination camp located in present day Poland.
Putin's absence at the ceremony is of particular significance as Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945 and many Soviet citizens had died there.
Putin had attended commemorations for the 60th anniversary of the camp's liberation, in 2005.
Relations between Moscow and the West have however since grown sour.
Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the following Kremlin-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine resulted in the US and the EU imposing sanctions against Moscow.
The Polish government has been among the most vocal critics of Russia's aggressive policies, thus it decided against sending a full diplomatic invitation to Putin, as the move would have been unpopular with the domestic public, a source involved in negotiations over the Auschwitz event told Reuters.
The organisation was left to the Auschwitz Museum and the International Auschwitz Council, which said they issued no personal invitation.
The embassies of countries contributing funds to the site, including Russia, were asked if they were to send a delegation, said Pawel Sawicki, a spokesman for the Auschwitz Museum.
The procedure was considered as not sufficiently formal by the Kremlin.