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Estonia plans fireworks to mark 1994 exit of Russian troops

HELSINKI (AP) — Estonia is planning to mark the 25th anniversary of the withdrawal of the last Russian troops from the country by fireworks in Tallinn on Saturday. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu on Thursday hailed the July 1994 withdrawal agreement made by the countries' presidents at the time as "a notable diplomatic achievement."

The former Soviet republic regained its independence in 1991 when Moscow had an estimated 570 military sites and some 35,000 troops in the Baltic nation of 1.3 million. Moscow's last troops left Estonia Aug. 31, 1994.

Estonia was forcibly annexed by Moscow in 1940. Besides a brief occupation by Nazi Germany 1941-44, Estonia remained part of the Soviet Union until 1991, a fate shared by Baltic neighbors Latvia and Lithuania.

The Soviet Union was officially dissolved in December 1991.

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