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Estonia, Lithuania Turn Down Moscow Invitation

The presidents of Estonia and Lithuania have declined a Russian invitation to celebrate the Soviet Union's World War II defeat of Nazi Germany.

Estonian President Arnold Ruutel and Lithuania's Valdas Adamkus both said it would be more fitting to mark the May 9 victory celebrations at home with their people.

President Adamkus said that while the Lithuanian people suffered greatly under the Nazis, they continued to be oppressed after the war ended - a reference to the Soviet occupation of the Baltics that lasted until 1991.

The president of Latvia, the third Baltic republic taken by the Soviet Union, has said she will attend the Moscow celebrations. But Vaira Vike-Freiberga adds that she hopes Russia will use the occasion to denounce the Soviet occupation.

Some information for this report provided by AP.