Latvia summons Russian diplomat over Moscow firework display

Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said July 11 it had summoned a Russian diplomat to express disapproval of recent comments he made.

"The Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of Russia, Vadim Vasilyev, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia today," a statement said.

"Latvia condemns in the strongest terms the efforts recently prevailing in Russia to exonerate the crimes jointly committed by Stalin and Hitler, including the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It is especially cynical to organise in Moscow, on the 80th anniversary of that pact, any fireworks for the “liberation” of the capital cities of the Baltic States," it continued.

"Whilst welcoming the defeat of Nazism, we would like to remind the world that, for Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, their freedom and independence were restored 45 years later, as the entry of the Red Army meant the renewal of the Soviet occupation," it added.

"It was pointed out to the representative of the Russian Embassy that the festive firework displays planned in Moscow in honor of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Riga by Soviet troops from German occupation were regarded by the Latvian side as an unacceptable and unfriendly action," the statement concluded.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs also tweeted on the subject.

The foreign ministries of Estonia and Lithuania have reacted in similar manner to similar Russian actions to mark the "liberation" of Tallinn and Vilnius.

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