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Yearbook 1996

Estonia. At the beginning of 1996, one of the first major investors in Estonia, Svenska Tobaks AB, moved its manufacturing to Sweden after the Estonian government refused to grant the company continued tax privileges. Later, SAS failed to buy into Estonian Air. Instead, Danish Maersk Air joined as a partner in the company.

1996 Estonia

At the turn of the year, a conflict within the Orthodox Church was raised about who was a legitimate heir to the Church's assets. The battle was between the Esther and the Russians.

According to, the protracted fishing conflict between Estonia and Latvia in the Gulf of Riga was resolved following negotiations between the heads of government. In June, the Baltic Presidents visited US President Clinton to discuss NATO accession. They made no promises. Later, however, the United States, partly in collaboration with Sweden, worked for Baltic membership in the EU as a kind of compensation and a step on the road.

During the autumn, the Estonian and Russian foreign ministers met in Karelia and reached an oral agreement on the border crossing between the countries. Estonia accepted the border once drawn by Stalin when he separated a few thousand km 2 of land from Estonia that existed during the interwar period.

After the failure of the presidential election in Parliament, an electoral assembly, composed of MPs and representatives of the municipalities, returned Lennart Meri to the presidential post for another five years.

During the autumn, municipal elections were also held, which indirectly also led to a government crisis due to a cooperation agreement that the leading government party Samlingspartiet (Koonderakond) had signed with Center Center (Keskerakond). The Reform Party (Reformierakond) left the government, which continued to govern as a minority minister.

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