Estonia Assesses Damage of Soviet Occupation At $4Bln

Posted in Europe | 12-May-04 | Source: Moscow Times

An Estonian committee studying political repressions has issued a “white book” detailing the damages the Baltic state suffered while it was part of the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1991, reported, citing the Interfax news agency.

In the document, the committee estimated that the damages sustained from the occupation of the Soviet Army amount to $4 billion.

“Currently we are issuing an account on the damages sustained during the Soviet era as well as during the German occupation,” the committee chairman, Vello Salo, was quoted as saying. Although a more detailed picture “would take a decade,” he said, “even now, we can say there were enormous negative consequences for our people.”

According to the committee’s estimates as cited by the news agency, Estonia lost a total of 180,000 people during the German and Soviet occupations — 90,000 were killed, the rest were deported or disappeared.

Estonia was one of the 10 new nations — and one of three former Soviet republics — to join the European Union on May 1. Russia had expressed its concern over the expansion, worried in particular about the fate of ethnic Russians in the former Soviet republics, and over trade.