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War in Ukraine boosts Estonian-Russian medicine trade 600-fold

Machines in a pharmaceuticals factory.
Machines in a pharmaceuticals factory. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

During the war, trade in medicines with Russia via Estonia increased 600-fold, with companies exporting blood transfusion equipment needed by Russian soldiers injured in Ukraine.

The daily Eesti Ekspress reports in an article from the series "Shipments to the east" that medical equipment is among the most exported goods from Estonia to Russia, with a combined value of €57.5 million in the previous year and the current year.

One of the suppliers of blood transfusion equipment to Russia in Estonia is Ecliptica Baltic OÜ, which exported at least €13.6 million worth of goods across the eastern border during the war, according to Russian customs declarations.

In Russia, the medical goods supplied by Ecliptica are received by MP-Medical, a company belonging to the AFK-Projekt group of companies, which has hundreds of public procurement contracts with Russian government agencies, in particular hospitals, laboratories and blood banks linked to the Russian Ministry of Health.

The daily did not receive answers to its questions from the only public contact address of Ecliptica, which is owned by Alexei Fedorov, a Russian citizen with an Estonian residence permit.

Estonia also produces medicines for the Russian market

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board confirmed to Eesti Ekspress that 5.6 metric tons of medicines crossed Estonia to Russia in 2021, 1,190 metric tons in 2022 and almost 3,400 metric tons a year later.

With regard to the transit of pharmaceuticals, Estonia typically provides transportation and trading services to European pharmaceutical companies and distributors who use the country as a corridor to deliver goods to Russia; the volume of this business has increased 600-fold.

According to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, Estonia itself sent 260 metric tons of medicines to Russia in 2023, which is 50 times more than the total amount of medicines that passed through Estonia before the war.

During the war, Kaltseks has delivered about €67.7 million worth of pharmaceutical products to Russia, some of which are manufactured at the Tallinn Pharmaceutical Factory.

The secretary of the Tallinn Pharmaceutical Factory told the daily that the share of their parent company Grindeks in the Russian and Belarusian business has significantly decreased, and that the company justifies the continuation of operations in Russia on humanitarian grounds.

In the same series, Eesti Ekspress has previously written about the Estonian metal industry's continued trade with Russia.

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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Kristina Kersa

Source: Eesti Ekspress

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