The part-state-owned Port of Tallinn (Tallinna Sadam) says it has not had to make any layoffs as a result of sanctions on the Russian Federation following the invasion of Ukraine.
Since around a third of the Port of Tallinn's cargo volumes are of Russian Federation origin, their complete prohibition would make a difference, however, the authority says.
While Russian and Belarusian goods make up a relatively small proportion of the port's annual turnover of €110 million Port of Tallinn commerce manager Margus Vihman said. "It's somewhere around seven percent... However, the volume [lost] would definitely be a big setback," he said.
"In that sense, we are concerned, but we understand that the most important aspect is for this war to end as soon as possible, and for some sacrifices to be made," Vihman went on.
At the same time, the Port of Tallinn will probably not have to lay off any staff thus far, Vihman added.
Any additional restrictions were imposed on goods coming from Russia would, however, affect other ports further, primarily terminals for goods such as fertilizers and many liquid cargoes.
Paldiski, west of Tallinn, and Muuga, just to the east, both of them under the Port of Tallinn's remit, would likely be more affected and would have to make lay-offs in the area (in the nearby town of Maardu, in Muuga's case), he said, adding that while lay-offs had also been made during the worst of the Covid pandemic,
Belarusian cargo was sanctioned on March 1 and no longer passes through the Port of Tallinn, Vihman added (since Belarus is landlocked, the goods would have been in transit to a Russian port – ed.); the total through-flows were around 2 million tonnes per year, he said.
There are no restrictions on goods coming from Russia yet, he said, though as noted one third of cargo volumes would evaporate were that to happen.
No company operating via the Port of Tallinn is currently owned by people subject to sanctions, Vihman added, noting that there aren't any operators who would make payment from Russia or via a Russian bank.
"All the companies are still Estonian ones, making money in Estonia and paying here. In that sense, banking sanctions do not affect us or our customers at the moment," he said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte