Foreign ministry protests Moscow celebrations marking fall of Tallinn

Russian embassy on Pikk Street in Tallinn's Old Town.
Russian embassy on Pikk Street in Tallinn's Old Town. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The foreign ministry has formally protested the holding of a fireworks display in Moscow marking the 75th anniversary of Tallinn's fall to Soviet forces.

Similar displays are reported to be taking place to mark the Soviet occupation of Vilnius and Riga.

The ministry summoned a representative of the Russian embassy on Wednesday, expressing protest in connection with the staging of the fireworks display, scheduled for Sept. 22, according to ministry spokespersons.

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) deemed the planned fireworks show a provocative step.

"The reoccupation of Tallinn did not bring freedom for Estonia, but a Soviet occupation lasting half a century. Uninterrupted legal continuity of the Republic of Estonia serves as basis to our statehood today and will also do so tomorrow," Reinsalu said, BNS reports, echoing comments he had made on social media Tuesday that marking reoccupation of Tallinn in festive style was unacceptable.

Reinsalu also noted the event was all the more cynical since 2019 also marks the 80th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which carved up much of central and eastern Europe between Nazi German and Soviet spheres of influence.

Spokespersons for Russia's Western Military District say that a total of 17 fireworks shows will be held in Moscow this year and in 2020, marking various 75th anniversaries of the Red Army's advance across Europe in the last months of World War Two.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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