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Talks fail to resolve statue row straining Estonia-Russia ties

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Talks fail to resolve statue row straining Estonia-Russia ties


A military cemetery is the new home for a Soviet war memorial that has stirred tensions between Estonia and Russia. Ethnically-mixed Estonia’s removal of the Red Army statue from the centre of the capital Tallinn sparked riots last week. Talks on Monday between parliamentary delegations from the Baltic state and Russia failed to resolve the row.

Moscow has called removing the statue an insult to those who fought fascism. Ethnic Estonians however, see it as a reminder of 50 years of Soviet rule. The remains of a dozen Soviet soldiers have now been found buried at the original war memorial site. They, too, are set to be taken to the cemetery.

The row has sparked angry protests outside the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. In Estonia, where ethnic Russians make up around a quarter of the population, last week’s unrest left one man dead and over 150 people injured.

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