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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Slams Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia -- A day after the failure of troop withdrawal talks, Russia renewed harsh criticism of Estonia for allegedly discriminating against its large Russian-speaking minority. In a strongly worded memorandum Wednesday, Russia said the Baltic nation was using tough citizenship and language laws to "force the non-Estonian population out of the country's territory." "The approach applied by Estonian leaders is fundamentally contravening the humanitarian concept established in international practice," the statement read. Russia has leveled similar charges in the past, but because of the timing, Wednesday's criticism appeared to signal that Moscow is nowhere near an agreement with Estonia on terms for withdrawing its remaining 2,300 troops. The Estonian foreign minister, Juri Luik, said he was saddened by the Russian charges, made during Kozyrev's first visit to Estonia since it won independence in 1991. "This is most unfortunate. We thought that in coming to Estonia he would take a friendly approach because we are looking for a breakthrough," he said in an interview. Estonia is the only ex-Soviet Baltic republic that has not agreed with Russian on troop withdrawal terms.