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Estonia

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Politics and government of
Estonia



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Following restoration of independence from the Soviet Union, Russia was one of the first nations to recognise Estonia's independence (the first country to do so was Iceland on 22 August 1991). Estonia's immediate priority after regaining its independence was the withdrawal of Russian (formerly Soviet) forces from Estonian territory. In August 1994, this was completed. However, relations with Moscow have remained strained primarily because Russia decided not to ratify the border treaty it had signed with Estonia in 1999.

Since regaining independence, Estonia has pursued a foreign policy of close cooperation with Western European nations.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and President George W. Bush, in Estonia 2006.

The two most important policy objectives in this regard have been accession into NATO and the European Union, achieved in March and May 2004 respectively. Estonia's international realignment toward the West has been accompanied by a general deterioration in relations with Russia, most recently demonstrated by the controversy surrounding relocation of the Bronze Soldier WWII memorial in Tallinn.[1]

An important element in Estonia's post-independence reorientation has been closer ties with the Nordic countries, especially Finland and Sweden. Indeed, Estonians consider themselves a Nordic people rather than Balts,[2][3] based on their historical ties with Denmark and particularly Finland and Sweden. In December 1999 Estonian foreign minister (and since 2006, president of Estonia) Toomas Hendrik Ilves delivered a speech entitled "Estonia as a Nordic Country" to the Swedish Institute for International Affairs.[4] In 2003, the foreign ministry also hosted an exhibit called "Estonia: Nordic with a Twist".[5] And in 2005, Estonia joined the European Union's Nordic Battle Group. It has also shown continued interest in joining the Nordic Council.

Whereas in 1992 Russia accounted for 92% of Estonia's international trade,[6] today there is extensive economic interdependence between Estonia and its Nordic neighbors: three quarters of foreign investment in Estonia originates in the Nordic countries (principally Finland and Sweden), to which Estonia sends 42% of its exports (as compared to 6.5% going to Russia, 8.8% to Latvia, and 4.7% to Lithuania). On the other hand, the Estonian political system, its flat rate of income tax, and its non-welfare-state model distinguish it from the other Nordic states, and indeed from many other European countries.[7]

Estonia is a party to 181 international organizations, including the BIS, CBSS, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EU (member since 1 May 2004), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC, NATO, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate partner), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO.

Contents

International disputes

Estonian and Russian negotiators reached a technical border agreement in December 1996. The border treaty was initialed in 1999. On 18 May 2005 Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov signed in Moscow the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Estonian-Russian border” and the “Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the Delimitation of the Maritime Zones in the Gulf of Finland and the Gulf of Narva”. The Riigikogu (Estonian Paliament) ratified the treaties on 20 June 2005 and the President of Estonia Arnold Rüütel announced them on 22 June 2005. On 31 August 2005 Russian President Putin gave a written order to the Russian Foreign Ministry to notify the Estonian side of “Russia’s intention not to participate in the border treaties between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Estonia”. On 6 September 2005 the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation forwarded a note to Estonia, in which Russia informed that it did not intend to become a party to the border treaties between Estonia and Russia and did not consider itself bound by the circumstances concerning the object and the purposes of the treaties.

Diplomatic relationships

Estonia established diplomatic relations with Kazakhstan on 27 May 1992. Estonia is represented in Kazakhstan through its embassy in Moscow (Russia). Kazakhstan is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Vilnius (Lithuania).

Uruguay was among the countries that refused to recognise the Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries. Uruguay re-recognised Estonia’s independence on 28 August 1991. Estonia and Uruguay established diplomatic relations on 30 September 1992. Estonia is represented in Uruguay through an honorary consulate in Montevideo. Uruguay is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden) and an honorary consulate in Tallinn.

Relations by country

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 01992-08-2323 August 1992
 Australia 01991-08-2727 August 1991 See Australia–Estonia relations
  • Australia first recognised Estonia on 22 September 1921.
  • Both countries re-established diplomatic relations on 21 November 1991.
  • Australia is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Stockholm (Sweden), and through an honorary consulate in Tallinn.
  • Estonia is represented in Australia through its embassy in Tokyo (Japan) and through three honorary consulates (in Claremont, Hobart, and two in Sydney).
  • Australia is host to one of the largest communities of Estonians abroad, with 8,232 people identifying as Estonian in the 2006 Australian Census.[9][10]
 Austria 01991-08-2828 August 1991
 Azerbaijan 01992-04-2020 April 1992
 Belarus 01992-04-066 April 1992
  • Belarus has a Consulate General in Tallinn.[14]
  • Estonia opened its Consulate General in Minsk on 21 July 1995.[15]
 Belgium See Foreign relations of Belgium
 Bulgaria 1991-09-10 See Bulgaria–Estonia relations
  • Bulgaria recognised Estonia on May 20, 1921 and re-recognised Estonia on August 26, 1991.
  • Bulgaria is represented in Estonia through an honorary consulate in Tallinn.
  • Estonia has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Sofia.[16]
 Canada See Foreign relations of Canada
 Chile See Chile–Estonia relations
  • Chile re-recognised Estonia on 28 August 1991 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 27 September 1991. Chile is represented in Estonia through its ambassador who resides in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consulate in Tallinn. Estonia is represented in Chile through an honorary consulate in Santiago. The current Chilean ambassador to Estonia, Carlos Parra Merino, officially presented his credentials to the Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in June 2007[17] Carlos Parra Merino resides in Helsinki.
  • An agreement on visa-free travel between Estonia and Chile came to force in 2 December 2000.[18][19][20] The two countries also have in force a Memorandum on co-operation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs.[18] Agreements on cultural, tourism, and IT cooperation are being readied.[18]
  • Chile is among Estonia's most important foreign trade partners in South America.[21]
  • In 2007, trade between Estonia and Chile was valued at 6.3 million EUR. Estonian exports included mainly machinery, mechanical equipment, and mineral fuels; Chile exports included mainly wine, fish, crustaceans and fruit. In 2004, 83% of Chile exports to Estonia, then totaling 2.4 million EUR, consisted of wine.[18] In 2008, Chilean wines held the highest share of Estonia's imported wine market, followed by Spanish wines.[22] Due to its climate being unsuitable for large-scale grape production, most wine sold in Estonia is imported.
  • In 2006, Estonia and Chile issued the joint Antarctic themed stamp series, designed by Ülle Marks and Jüri Kass, bearing images of the Emperor penguin and the minke whale.[23] The works of Chilean writers Isabel Allende, Pablo Neruda and José Donoso have been translated into Estonian.[18]
 Croatia 1992-03-02 See Croatia–Estonia relations
 Cyprus See Foreign relations of Cyprus
 Czech Republic See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Denmark See Foreign relations of Denmark
 Egypt 01992-01-022 January 1992
 Finland 01991-08-2929 August 1991 See Estonia–Finland relations
 France 01991-08-3030 August 1991
 Georgia 01992-06-1717 June 1992
 Greece 01991-10-022 October 1991
 Holy See 01991-10-033 October 1991
 Hungary 01991-09-022 September 1991
 Iceland 01991-08-2626 August 1991
 India 01991-12-022 December 1991 See Estonia–India relations
  • India re-recognised Estonia on 9 September 1991.
  • Estonia is represented in India by two honorary consulates (in Mumbai and New Delhi).
  • India is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consulate in Tallinn.
 Ireland 01991-09-1010 September 1991
 Israel 01992-01-099 January 1992
 Italy 01991-08-3131 August 1991
 Japan 01991-10-1010 October 1991
 Kosovo 02008-04-2424 April 2008
 Latvia 01992-01-033 January 1992 See Estonia–Latvia relations
  • Estonia has an embassy in Riga.
  • Latvia has an embassy in Tallinn.
  • The two states share 343 km of common borders.
  • They enjoy close relations sharing a common history of relations in the USSR and being neighbours.[40]
 Lithuania 01991-06-1616 June 1991
  • Estonia has an embassy in Vilnius.[41]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Tallinn.[42]
  • The Estonian ambassador to Lithuania is Andres Tropp.
  • Both countries are situated in the Baltic region and are the full members of NATO and EU.
 Luxembourg 01991-08-2929 August 1991
  • Luxembourg recognised Estonia on 22 February 1923 and re-recognised Estonia on 27 August 1991.[18] Both countries re-established diplomatic relations on 29 August 1991.[18] Estonia is represented in Luxembourg through its embassy in Brussels (Belgium) and an honorary consulate in Luxembourg.[18] Luxembourg is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Prague (Czech Republic).[18] As of 31 December 2007 foreign investments made in Estonia originating from Luxembourg totaled 225 million EUR accounting for 2% of the total volume of foreign direct investments. Luxembourg took 10th place in the general ranking of the countries. Investments from Luxembourg were made primarily in real estate rental and business activity (46%), wholesale and retail trade (34%), and financial intermediation (15%). The rest were made in the transportation and communication sector and the manufacturing industry. As of the same date, Estonian direct investments in Luxembourg totaled 1.1 million EUR, and were mostly made in the financial and real estate sectors.[18] There are about 300 Estonians living in Luxembourg.[18]
  • Trade agreement between Estonia and Belgium and Luxembourg (1935)[43]
  • Agreement on Road Transport between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (came into force 1.12.94)[44]
  • Agreement Between Estonia and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments (came into force 23.09.99)[45]
  • Agreement Between Estonia and the States of Benelux on Readmission of Persons (came into force 1.02.05)
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Income and Capital Tax evasion (signed 23.05.2006)[46][47]
 Malta 01992-01-011 January 1992
 Moldova 01992-11-1010 November 1992
 Netherlands 01991-09-2121 September 1991
 Norway 01991-08-2727 August 1991
 People's Republic of China See Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China
 Poland 01991-09-13September 1991
 Portugal 01991-10-011 October 1991
 Romania 01991-09-1313 September 1991
 Russia 01991-10-2424 October 1991 See Estonia–Russia relations

Russian-Estonian relations were re-established in January 1991, when the presidents Boris Yeltsin of RSFSR and Arnold Rüütel of the Republic of Estonia met in Tallinn and signed a treaty governing the relations of the two countries after the anticipated independence of Estonia from the Soviet Union.[59][60] The treaty guaranteed the right to freely choose their citizenship for all residents of the former Estonian SSR.

Russia re-recognised the Republic of Estonia on 24 August 1991 after the failed Soviet coup attempt, as one of the first countries to do so. The Soviet Union recognised the independence of Estonia on 6 September. Estonia's ties with Boris Yeltsin weakened since the Russian leader's initial show of solidarity with the Baltic states in January 1991. Issues surrounding the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Baltic republics and Estonia's denial of automatic citizenship to persons who settled in Estonia in 1941-1991 and well offspring[61] ranked high on the list of points of contention.

 Serbia 02001-02-099 February 2001
 Slovakia 01993-03-3030 March 1993
 South Korea 01991-09-1717 September 1991
  • South Korea recognised Estonia on 6 September 1991.
  • Estonia has an honorary consulate in Seoul.
  • South Korea is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consualte in Tallinn.
  • In 2006, Korea was ranked as Estonia’s 35th export partner and 29th import partner. Estonia’s exports to Korea consist primarily of machinery and mechanical appliances and wood items. The main import articles are transport vehicles and mechanical inventory. The total value of exports to Korea in 2006 was 19.2 million EUR, while imports totalled 34.6 million EUR.[62]
  • South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about relations with Estonia
 Spain 01991-09-1010 September 1991
 Sri Lanka 01996-01-3131 January 1996 See Estonia – Sri Lanka relations
  • Sri Lanka recognised Estonia on the 10 October 1991.
  • Sri Lanka has an embassy in Stockholm which serves Estonia.
  • Estonia has no embassy for Sri Lanka.
  • Economic relations between Sri Lanka and Estonia are at moderate level.
 Sweden See Estonia–Sweden relations
  • Estonia was under Swedish occupation between 1561 and 1721.
  • Sweden re-recognised Estonia on 27 August 1991.
  • Estonia has an embassy in Stockholm and five honorary consulates (in Eskilstuna, Gothenburg, Karlskrona, Malmö and Visby).
  • Sweden has an embassy in Tallinn and two honorary consulates (in Narva and Tartu).
 Ukraine 01992-01-044 January 1992
 United Kingdom 01991-09-055 September 1991
 United States See Estonia – United States relations

The relationship has been constant and strong since Estonia first became independent. The United States and Estonia are important allies and partners.

See also

References

  1. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Estonia blames Russia for unrest
  2. ^ Estonian foreign ministry publication, 2004
  3. ^ Estonian foreign ministry publication, 2002
  4. ^ NATO :: NATO :: Estonia as a Nordic Country
  5. ^ Estonia - Nordic with a Twist
  6. ^ The Estonian Economic Miracle
  7. ^ http://www.investinestonia.com/pdf/ForeignTrade2007.pdf Foreign investment
  8. ^ Site of the Armenian community in Estonia (in Armenian, Estonian and Russian only)
  9. ^ Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about relations with Estonia - Brief
  10. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Australia
  11. ^ Estonian embassy in Vienna
  12. ^ Azerbaijani embassy in Riga (also accredited to Estonia)
  13. ^ Estonian embassy in Ankara (also accredited to Azerbaijan)
  14. ^ Belarussian consulate general in Tallinn
  15. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Belarus
  16. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
  17. ^ The Estonian President received credentials from the Ambassador of Chile
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Estonia and Chile
  19. ^ Elektrooniline Riigi Teataja: Eesti Vabariigi valitsuse ja Tšiili Vabariigi valitsuse vaheline turistide viisakohustuse kaotamise kokkulepe
  20. ^ Visa-free travel between Estonia, Chile comes into force, BNS news agency, Tallinn - 1 December 2000, BBC Archive
  21. ^ Estonian Cabinet of Ministers: Prime Minister spoke with the President of Chile about the common interests of both states
  22. ^ Ärileht 4 December 2008 15:21: Eesti tarbija eelistab Hispaania ja Tšiili veine
  23. ^ Õhtuleht Eesti ja Tšiili ühine postmark, 25 October 2006
  24. ^ Hrvatska i Estonija potpisale sporazum o ukidanje viza i readmisiji
  25. ^ Partnership of Estonia and Croatia
  26. ^ Egyptian embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
  27. ^ Estonian embassy in Paris
  28. ^ French embassy in Tallinn (in Estonian, French and Russian only)
  29. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian ambassador to the Vatican
  30. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Vatican embassy in Vilnius (also accredited to Estonia)
  31. ^ Estonian embassy in Budapest
  32. ^ Hungarian embassy in Tallinn
  33. ^ Icelandic embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
  34. ^ Israeli embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
  35. ^ Estonian embassy in Rome
  36. ^ Italian embassy in Tallinn
  37. ^ Estonian embassy in Tokyo
  38. ^ Japanese embassy in Tallinn
  39. ^ http://www.estemb.or.jp/lang_4/rub_1491/rub2_1499
  40. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Latvia
  41. ^ (Estonian) (Lithuanian) (English) Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in the Republic of Lithuania
  42. ^ (Lithuanian) (English) Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Estonia
  43. ^ "Convention pour favoriser les échanges et les règlements commerciaux entre l'Union économique belgo-luxembourgeoise et l'Estonie". http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/1935/0076/a076.pdf#page=16.  
  44. ^ Text of Agreement on Road Transport between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
  45. ^ Text of the Agreement Between Estonia and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments.
  46. ^ "Convention de double imposition : Luxembourg-Estonie". http://www.legilux.public.lu/leg/a/archives/2006/0229/2006A4075A.html.  
  47. ^ "Estonia, Luxembourg sign tax treaty". 2006-06-15. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-147074229.html.  
  48. ^ Direction of the Estonian representation in Malta
  49. ^ Direction of the Maltese representation in Estonia
  50. ^ Estonian embassy in The Hague
  51. ^ Dutch embassy in Tallinn
  52. ^ Estonian embassy in Oslo
  53. ^ Norway embassy in Tallinn (in Estonian and Norwegian only)
  54. ^ Estonian embassy in Warsaw
  55. ^ Polish embassy in Tallinn
  56. ^ Estonian embassy in Lisbon
  57. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian honorary consulates in Portugal
  58. ^ Romanian embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia), page about relations with Estonia
  59. ^ Kristina Kallas, Eesti Vabariigi ja Vene Föderatsiooni riikidevahelised läbirääkimised aastatel 1990–1994 - Tartu 2000
  60. ^ Eesti Ekspress: Ta astus sajandist pikema sammu - Boriss Jeltsin 1931-2007, 25.04.2007
  61. ^ Citizenship Act of Estonia (§ 5. Acquisition of Estonian citizenship by birth): [1]
  62. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with South Korea
  63. ^ Estonian embassy in Madrid
  64. ^ Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian honorary consulates in Spain
  65. ^ Spanish embassy in Tallinn (in Spanish only)
  66. ^ Estonian embassy in Kiev
  67. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Tallinn (new site)
  68. ^ Estonian embassy in London
  69. ^ British embassy in Tallinn
  70. ^ "OUTWARD STATE VISITS MADE BY THE QUEEN SINCE 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page4869.asp. Retrieved 2008-11-29.  

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