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You can keep your fireworks, Latvia tells Russia

Latvia on October 11 followed the lead of Lithuania and Estonia in noting the inappropriate nature of a "celebration" planned in Moscow this weekend, describing it instead as an "unfriendly action."

The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it "deplores the firework display planned for 13 October in Moscow, which is intended to commemorate the “freeing” of Riga from the German occupation. However, for Latvia and the other two Baltic States, the so-called “liberation” meant the commencement of a fresh occupation which would last for nearly fifty years." 

"We consider the festive fireworks planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the time when the Soviet armed forces “freed” Riga from the German occupation to be an unfriendly action," it added.

Latvia "categorically rejects the most recent attempts by the Russian Federation to re-write history according to their whim and exonerate crimes perpetrated by Stalin’s regime during the Second World War including the violations of international law related to the notorious Hitler-Stalin Pact signed on 23 August 1939," it said.

While welcoming the defeat of Nazism, the ministry said the restoration of freedom and independence took place almost 50 years later than suggested by the Russian event.

It is not the first time that Latvia has told the Russias authorities that some rockets are better left unlaunched.

As previously reported by our public service media colleagues in Estonia and Lithuania, similar stunts were arranged to mark the "liberations" of Tallinn and Vilnius, too.

The fireworks could probably be kept quite safely in a tin box until new year, if the Russian authorities are able to overcome an insatiable appetite for momentary flashes and bangs that would embarass a five year old.


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