PUTIN INVITES LEADERS OF LATVIA, ESTONIA TO MOSCOW
THE HAGUE, November 25 (RIA Novosti) - President Vladimir Putin of Russia has invited his Latvian and Estonian counterparts to come to Moscow for celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. Putin met with the Presidents of Latvia and Estonia at a EU-Russia summit in The Hague, Thursday.
As RIA Novosti's correspondent in Vilnius reports, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga remarked that May 9, celebrated in Russia as V-E Day, was also the day when Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia lost their independence. In an interview for the Lithuanian newspaper Lietuvos Ritas, she described Putin's invitation as provocative. Ms Vike-Freiberga said her two counterparts and herself could not go to Moscow "in a joyous mood" on a day like this and that they must draw the world's attention to the reverse side of Victory Day.
At a press conference in the Latvian capital, Riga, on November 16, Russian Ambassador Viktor Kalyuzhny expressed hope that the Latvian
leader would nonetheless come to Moscow to attend WWII victory anniversary celebrations next year. "We are very hopeful that Ms Vike-Freiberga will be in Moscow for May 9, despite Latvia's mixed feelings about the date," the Russian Ambassador emphasized.