Estonia: Moscow's marking of Tallinn retake 'provocative'

HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia has protested Russian plans to hold festivities marking the 75th anniversary of the seizure of the Baltic nation's capital by the Soviet Red Army in 1944.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday a Russian embassy representative had been summoned and was told that staging a fireworks show in Moscow on Sept. 22 was "a provocative step."

Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said when the Red Army re-entered Tallinn in 1944 after occupation 1940-41, it "didn't bring freedom to Estonia but a Soviet occupation lasting half a century."

That year, the Baltic country was taken by the Soviet Union when Nazi Germany's troops left the country. Estonia reclaimed independence in 1991.

Relations between the small European Union and NATO member of 1.3 million and Moscow have remained chilly, shadowed by severe political differences.