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It's not over yet

  • 2008-04-23
  • Monika Hanley in cooperation with BNS

The statue that started it all Photo: Steven Hannink

TALLINN- In the days before the anniversary of the May riots, Estonians are lookingback at how much they have suffered.

Russiahas boycotted most if not all of Estonian goods in the last year, causing thesmaller country fairly drastic results.

The port of Tallinnreported 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, mostbrands 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 theindustry 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 shockto the Tallinntourism business. People in Russiawere afraid and confused about what was happening here," as quoted by theAP.

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 theboycott causes too much of a problem, as Tallinn is still and will remain anever growing port in the Baltics and is working to build business in Scandinaviaas well.  Estonian Ambassador Marina Kaljurandwas quoted as saying that there is still a lack of trust and respect withregards to Russian Estonian relations, but hopefully things will get betterunder new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev.

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