Russia's upper house of parliament yesterday approved a resolution calling for a break in diplomatic relations with Estonia in retaliation for the removal of a Soviet war monument from central Tallinn.
The non-binding resolution was approved unanimously by the senate and comes amid furious reactions from Moscow after the removal of the monument, which sparked violent clashes in Estonia.
The senate "calls on the leadership of the Russian Federation to adopt the toughest possible measures, including a break in diplomatic relations," it said.
Russia's reaction should "show that modern Russia categorically does not accept the barbaric attitude of Estonian authorities to the memory of those who were victorious against fascism," it said.
Estonia took away the controversial statue of a Red Army Soviet soldier from the center of the capital early yesterday after violent riots against its removal in which one man was killed.
The 2m high bronze statue of a World War II Red Army soldier was spirited away overnight after the worst violence seen in years in Estonia, including vandalism and looting by mainly Russian-speaking protesters.
"The aim of the government decision was to avoid further possible actions against the public order," the Estonian government said, and the president called for calm.
Television pictures from inside a large tent erected over the site showed a long muddy patch where the statue, set up in 1947, and its wall had been.
Estonia said one man died in the disturbances, which began after more than 1,000 people gathered to protest on Thursday, after being stabbed in the subsequent violence.
Police arrested 300, while 44 protesters and 13 police were hurt. Looters broke windows, began fires and overturned cars.
Estonia has said the monument is a public order problem as it attracts Estonian and Russian nationalists. It also said it is more respectful to the dead for it to be moved to a cemetery.
Removing it angered some Russian-speakers, a large minority of around 300,000 in the country of 1.3 million. Estonians tend to view it as a reminder of 50 years of Soviet occupation.
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