Ida-Viru County Unlikely To Be New Crimea, Says Businessman ({{commentsTotal}})

Aleksandr Dusman, member of the board of the non-profit organization Ida-Viru County Integration Board, does not believe that the Russian-speaking population of Ida-Viru County would like to join Russia, because the living standards are far better in Estonia.

The Christian Science Monitor ran an article on whether Ida-Viru County with its large Russian minority could become the next Crimea, and Dusman told the journalist that it won't happen.

Dusman later told Postimees that joining Russia would mean giving up the advantages of being an EU member state and the Russian speakers would not be content with Russian living standards.

The Russian-speaking population is also diverse, consisting of not just Russians, but also Ukrainians, Belorussians and others. There is a great difference between Estonia and Russia and the people of Ida-Virumaa know it, Dusman said.

According to a poll commissioned by the Moscow-funded newspaper MK Estonia, 22.8 percent of Russian speakers in Estonia supported the presence of Russian troops in Crimea, 24.7 percent were against it and 52.8 did not wish to disclose their position or were undecided.

Dusman speculated that the people in favor of secession are probably people of Russian origin who have trouble finding jobs.

He also said there are many people who have moved to Russia and then returned, disappointed, saying it was not the country they grew up in.

According to Dusman, Estonian politicians should engage the population of Ida-Viru County more, and make them feel like they are part of Estonia.