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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 April 2007, 14:33 GMT 15:33 UK
Russians advised to shun Estonia
Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Ivanov: "Don't buy Estonian food"
Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov has urged Russians not to take holidays in Estonia.

Russia has criticised Estonian plans to remove a Soviet-era monument to the Red Army in the Baltic state's capital.

Mr Ivanov said Russians should also consider alternatives to Estonian dairy produce, although he said he was not calling for a boycott.

The Bronze Soldier monument in Tallinn commemorates the Red Army's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

"I'm not calling for a boycott," Mr Ivanov told armed forces veterans in Moscow. "It's not a question of state sanctions. I'm talking about the individual citizen's stance. Don't buy Estonian food, don't go on holiday in Estonia, go to our Kaliningrad instead for a holiday."

Most ethnic Estonians regard the monument as a symbol of Soviet oppression.

In February, Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves vetoed a parliamentary bill calling for its removal within a month, but Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said the authorities could still have it removed under a law on war graves.

Correspondents say that nothing is likely to happen until a new coalition is formed after last month's elections.

Mr Ivanov also said Russia should complete construction of the Ust-Luga port on the Baltic as soon as possible, "so as not to fatten the budget of Estonia, in whose ports 85% of the cargo is Russian".

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