While trade with Russia has decreased significantly since the latter launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last February, Estonian companies figured out how to increase exports primarily to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries neighboring it.
In the first seven months of this year, exports to Russia have fallen 13.5 percent compared with 2021, the year before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, totaling €359 million in value. Imports, meanwhile, have more than halved, with just €267 million in imports from Russia arriving in Estonia, it appears from statistics published by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA).
A similar trend can be observed in trade with Belarus, where imports have fallen by nearly 40 percent, although exports have grown by nearly a third.
Looking at Russia's neighboring countries, however, the majority of whom cooperate with Estonia's eastern neighbor via the CIS, trade with these has increased, often by orders of magnitude.
Exports to Kazakhstan, for example, have gone up from €8 million in the first seven months of 2021 to €66 million in the same timespan this year, and imports likewise up from €3 million to €52 million. Trade with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Armenia has seen similar growth as well.
Trade with other countries neighboring Russia has rather increased during the war in Ukraine and sanctions as well. In all, total exports to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in the first seven months of the year have increased 26.5 percent compared with the same period in 2021, reaching €601 million.
At the same time, imports have plummeted 28 percent, largely due to stopping imports of energy carriers.
The MTA declined to reveal what companies are exporting goods to Russia or its neighboring countries and to what extent, citing tax secrecy.
To Estonia's south, on the orders of its minister of economics, Latvia published a list of companies exporting to Russia and Belarus in mid-August.
Editor: Aili Vahtla