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It's not over yet

Apr 23, 2008
Monika Hanley in cooperation with BNS

It's not over yet
The statue that started it all Photo: Steven Hannink
TALLINN- In the days before the anniversary of the May riots, Estonians are looking back at how much they have suffered.

Russia has boycotted most if not all of Estonian goods in the last year, causing the smaller country fairly drastic results.

The port of Tallinn reported losses of 13 percent as coal cargo from Russia was diverted to other ports. The dairy industry was also affected as immediately following the riots, most brands of cheese and other goods were taken off the shelves. Later exports resumed, but doing only about 50 percent of business than they had pre-riot.

Many people on both sides are quick to point fingers, but experts in the industry say that misunderstandings are at the heart of the problem.

Tourism is also down about 18 percent this year, but Evelin Tsirk of the Tallinn tourist office said "It was quite a big shock to the Tallinn tourism business. People in Russia were afraid and confused about what was happening here," as quoted by the AP.

In every aspect of industry, from fast food to shipping, numbers are down. However, many in the industry, as well as the Estonian government, don't think the boycott causes too much of a problem, as Tallinn is still and will remain an ever growing port in the Baltics and is working to build business in Scandinavia as well.  Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurand was quoted as saying that there is still a lack of trust and respect with regards to Russian Estonian relations, but hopefully things will get better under new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev.

Foreign Minister is also optimistic about future relations saying that "In recent months our relations have been gradually improving".  

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