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Exports from Estonia to Russia are growing despite sanctions

May 25, 2023

Despite ten packages of sanctions, exports from Estonia to Russia increased by 17 million euros in March compared to the same period last year.

This is reported by ERR.

"If we compare March last year and this year, exports to Russia increased from 57 million euros to 74 million euros. 44% of exports are machinery and transport equipment: these are printing machines and centrifuges," said Janne Leppmets, an analyst at the Department of Statistics.

Leppmets explains that the growth is due to inflation; the number of goods remained roughly the same, but their prices increased. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that Estonian export statistics should be considered for a longer period than one month.

"The Estonian economy is quite small. Export figures fluctuate greatly from month to month. Longer periods, such as quarters, should be compared. If we compare the first quarter of this year with the fourth quarter of last year, we can see that the volume of exports from Estonia has not grown too much," said Tõnis Nirk, head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to him, most of the exported products are goods from abroad. In March this year, Estonian products accounted for only a quarter of all exports to Russia.


"Most of it is re-export. That is, we export goods of non-Estonian origin. In March, 77% of exports were foreign products that are brought to Estonia and then exported to Russia. Of all the goods sent to Russia, only 23% were made in Estonia," Leppmets said.

As of today, the European Union has adopted ten packages of sanctions over Russia's aggression against Ukraine. The G7 countries also considered a complete ban on exports to Russia but decided to abstain from this idea. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on Estonian businessmen to refuse to trade with the aggressor country.

"Estonia has always been a supporter of tough sanctions. We urge Estonian businesses to comply with these tough sanctions. It is extremely important to make the war very costly for the aggressor," explained Mr. Nirk.

Export data for April is not yet available, but the Statistics Estonia Department suggests that it is unlikely that Estonian sales to Russia will fall.

Author - Olena Madiak, 25/05/2023

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