Estonia spent $6.1 million to remove Bronze Soldier - paper
( RIA Novosti ) - Estonia's government spent some 70 million Kroons ($6.1 million) to remove the Soviet Soldier monument from central Tallinn and to repair the damage caused by the disturbances that followed, an Estonian newspaper said Tuesday.
Estonian authorities exhumed 12 Soviet soldiers April 26 and moved the Bronze Soldier monument to a military cemetery on Tallinn's outskirts. The move provoked mass protests in Tallinn and other Estonian cities, during which over 1,000 people were detained, dozens injured and a Russian killed.
Postimees, an influential Estonian daily, reported citing data from various ministries and government departments that the expenses of the Estonian Defense Ministry on the removal of the monument and its re-erection on a military cemetery, the exhumation and identification of Soviet soldiers' remains, the planting of greenery on Tynismyagi square and the provision of security services totaled about 12.9 million Kroons ($1.1 million).
The Estonian Interior Ministry has spent about 31 million Kroons ($2.7 million) on overtime compensations for policemen, their food, transportation and uniform.
The Finance Ministry will pay private owners and local administration between 20 and 25 million Kroons ($1.8-2.2 million) in compensation for damage inflicted by mass disturbances.
The newspaper also said the sum spent by Estonian authorities on the removal of the monument hardly compares to the damage to the country's economy, as many of the country's enterprises are in danger of indirect Russian economic sanctions.
Amid the scandal with the monument in April, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and the legislature of the Leningrad Region around Russia's second-largest city, St. Petersburg, called on all government institutions and government-run organizations to freeze financial and economic transactions with Estonia, and on all Russians to boycott Estonian goods.