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Claims of Russia's part in clashes in Estonia unfounded - MP

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A senior Russian lawmaker dismissed Sunday as unfounded Estonia's claims that Russia was to blame for escalating tension in Estonia and sparking clashes in the Estonian capital after the removal of the Soviet WWII monument.
MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) - A senior Russian lawmaker dismissed Sunday as unfounded Estonia's claims that Russia was to blame for escalating tension in Estonia and sparking clashes in the Estonian capital after the removal of the Soviet WWII monument.

Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said April 29 that biased coverage by Russian mass media and ill-intentional statements by Russian politicians were partly to blame for violent clashes between protesters and police in the Estonian capital after the Bronze Soldier statue was dismantled and removed early Friday.

"The statement is inadequate and is evidence that the Estonian authorities have failed to realize what is going on or pretend to do so," said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee.

As a result of the clashes in the central streets of Tallinn, one man aged 19-20 died, 60 injured, and over 500 detained. The deceased was a Russian national.

"We have no relation to the civil society's reaction witnessed in the streets of Estonian cities," Kosachev said.

Apart from the 13 soldiers buried in 1947 under the Bronze Soldier, about 50,000 Soviet soldiers are believed to be buried in 450 WWII burials across Estonia.

Estonia has said the Bronze Soldier and other Soviet monuments - rallying points for ethnic Russians and places of their clashes with Estonian nationalists - "divide society," and the central square is not a proper burial place

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