Munich Security Conference did not invite Russian government this year

Munich Security Conference, in Munich

BERLIN (Reuters) - Russian government officials were not invited to this year's Munich Security Conference, the man chairing the annual event that brings together the world's defence and security elite said on Wednesday in an interview.

The conference, known as "Davos for defence", will take place in the southern German city on Feb. 17-19, days before the anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We do not want to offer a stage for those who have stamped over international law," Christoph Heusgen told Reuters. The Kremlin last year chose not to send a representative in the first no-show in years.

Heusgen, who was long former Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy adviser, said the aim was nonetheless to get away from an event where Europeans and Americans just spoke among themselves and that more policymakers and experts from emerging economies had been invited this year as a result.

Organizers have not yet published a schedule for the event.

Last year Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg were among the dignitaries attending the event.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Gareth Jones)