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Estonia: Information on whether Russians and Russophones have been migrating to northeastern Estonia from other parts of the country

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 May 1994
Citation / Document Symbol EST17221.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Estonia: Information on whether Russians and Russophones have been migrating to northeastern Estonia from other parts of the country, 1 May 1994, EST17221.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6acaac.html [accessed 13 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Media reports indicate that there have been substantial movements of Russians and Russophones out of Estonia since 1991. For example, according to an article published in International Migration Review, 29,000 Russians left Estonia in the first nine months of 1992 (Fall 1993, 621). The Financial Times states that a further 30,000 Russians, plus thousands of Soviet military personnel and their families, left Estonia between late 1993 and April 1994 (19 Apr. 1994). A representative of Helsinki Watch in New York stated that between 75,000 and 100,000 Russians have left the country since 1989 (11 May 1994).

A correspondent with the Financial Times in London who recently visited Estonia stated that there is no indication of large-scale movements of Russians to northeastern Estonia from other parts of the country (5 May 1994). He stated that some individuals may have moved to the northeast to join family members, but that there is little economic incentive to move to the area since it is the country's most economically depressed region (ibid.).

A representative of RAND, a public policy research institute in Washington, who specializes in Baltic affairs stated that he was unaware of major migrations of Russians to northeastern Estonia, and that they would have little economic incentive to do so (5 May 1994). A representative of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich said that large-scale migrations to northeastern Estonia are unlikely as many industries in the region have recently closed (5 May 1994). However, he added that the economic situation in Narva and the northeast is better than that in the southern part of the country (ibid.).

A representative of Helsinki Watch in New York stated that the majority of Estonian Russians live in either Tallin or the northeast, and that rural areas of the country are overwhelmingly Estonian (11 May 1994). He stated that the country's language laws might affect the ability of unilingual Russians to maintain or find employment, but that he was unaware of large scale movements of Russians from Tallinn or other parts of the country to the northeast (ibid.). He added that individuals moving to the northeast are likely to experience problems obtaining an apartment since an open housing market does not yet exist (ibid.).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Estonia Correspondent with the Financial Times, London. 5 May 1994. Telephone interview with correspondent.

Financial Times [London]. 19 April 1994. Anthony Robinson. "Survey of Estonia." (NEXIS)

International Migration Review [New York]. Fall 1993. Vol. 27, No. 3. John B. Dunlop. "Will a Large-Scale Migration of Russians to the Russian Republic Take Place Over the Current Decade?"

Helsinki Watch, New York. 11 May 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Munich. 6 May 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

RAND, Washington, DC. 5 May 1994. Telephone interview with representative.

Attachments

Financial Times [London]. 19 April 1994. Anthony Robinson. "Survey of Estonia." (NEXIS)

International Migration Review [New York]. Fall 1993. Vol. 27, No. 3.John B. Dunlop. "Will a Large-Scale Migration of Russians to the Russia Republic Take Place Over the Current Decade?", pp. 618-22.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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