Foreign relations of Estonia
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Republic of Estonia gained its independence from the Russian Empire on 24 February 1918 and established diplomatic relations with many countries via membership of the League of Nations. The forcible incorporation of Estonia into the Soviet Union in 1940 was not generally recognised by the international community and the Estonian diplomatic service continued to operate in some countries. Following the restoration of independence from the Soviet Union, Russia was one of the first nations to re-recognize 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.
Trends following re-independence
Since regaining independence, Estonia has pursued a foreign policy of close cooperation with Western European nations.
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. Estonia has become an increasingly strong supporter of deepening European integration. The decision to participate in the preparation of a financial transaction tax in 2012 reflects this shift in Estonia’s EU policy.
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 due to being Finno-Ugric people like the Finns rather than Balts, 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. In 2003, the foreign ministry also hosted an exhibit called "Estonia: Nordic with a Twist". And in 2005, Estonia joined the European Union's Nordic Battle Group. It has also shown continued interest in becoming a full member in the Nordic Council.
Whereas in 1992 Russia accounted for 92% of Estonia's international trade, 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.
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.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
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 Parliament) 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 Vladimir 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.
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 recognize 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.
Through diplomatic cooperation with Latvia, Estonia opened an embassy in Cairo, Egypt in March 2010  as settled in an agreement signed by Estonian Foreign Ministry Secretary General Marten Kokk and the Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia Kārlis Eihenbaums on 5 January.
As of February 2012, Estonia has not established diplomatic relations with three countries: North Korea, Sudan, and Burma. Foreign minister Urmas Paet has indicated that after the 2011–2012 Burmese political reforms Estonia is reconsidering its stance in regard to the government in Burma and is now considering establishing formal diplomatic relations.
Relations by country
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Armenia||23 August 1992||
|Australia||22 September 1921||See Australia–Estonia relations
|Austria||26 June 1921||
|Azerbaijan||20 April 1992||See Azerbaijan-Estonia relations|
|Belarus||6 April 1992|
|Belgium||26 January 1921||See Foreign relations of Belgium|
|Bulgaria||20 May 1921||See Bulgaria–Estonia relations|
|Canada||1922||See Foreign relations of Canada|
|Chile||22 September 1921||See Chile–Estonia relations
|Colombia||22 September 1921||
|Croatia||2 March 1992||See Croatia–Estonia relations
|Cyprus||See Foreign relations of Cyprus|
|Czech Republic||See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic|
|Denmark||1921||See Denmark–Estonia relations|
|Finland||20 June 1920||See Estonia–Finland relations
|France||26 January 1921||
|Georgia||17 June 1992||
|Greece||19 May 1922||
|Holy See||10 October 1921||
|Hungary||24 February 1921||
|Iceland||30 January 1922||
|India||22 September 1921||See Estonia–India relations
|Ireland||27 August 1991||
|Israel||9 January 1992||
|Italy||26 January 1921||
|Japan||26 January 1921||
|Kosovo||24 April 2008||
|Latvia||3 December 1918||See Estonia–Latvia relations|
|Luxembourg||22 February 1923||
|Malaysia||4 November 1993||See Foreign relations of Malaysia
|Malta||1 January 1992||
|Mexico||28 January 1937||
|Moldova||10 November 1992||
|Netherlands||5 March 1921||
|Norway||5 February 1921||
|People's Republic of China||11 September 1991||See Foreign relations of the People's Republic of China|
|Poland||31 December 1920||
|Portugal||6 February 1921||
|Romania||26 February 1921||
|Russia||2 February 1920||See Estonia–Russia relations
Russia recognised Estonia via the Tartu Peace Treaty on the 2nd of February, 1920. 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. 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 ranked high on the list of points of contention.
|Serbia||9 February 2001||
|Slovakia||30 March 1993||
|South Korea||17 September 1991||
|Spain||25 March 1921||
|Sri Lanka||31 January 1996||See Estonia – Sri Lanka relations
|Sweden||See Estonia–Sweden relations
|Ukraine||4 January 1992|
|United Kingdom||5 February 1921||
|United States||22 July 1922||See Estonia – United States relations|
- List of diplomatic missions in Estonia
- List of diplomatic missions of Estonia
- Visa requirements for Estonian citizens
- "Estonia blames Russia for unrest". BBC News. 29 April 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
- "Estonia strives to be at the core of the EU". The Finnish Institute of International Affairs. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Estonian foreign ministry publication, 2004
- Estonian foreign ministry publication, 2002
- NATO :: NATO :: Estonia as a Nordic Country
- Estonia - Nordic with a Twist
- The Estonian Economic Miracle
- http://www.investinestonia.com/pdf/ForeignTrade2007.pdf Foreign investment
- Estonia and Uruguay
- Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Opened Estonian Embassy in Egypt
- "Millise kahe riigiga pole Eestil diplomaatilisi suhteid?" Postimees 1. march 2012. (Estonian)
- Site of the Armenian community in Estonia (in Armenian, Estonian and Russian only)
- Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade about relations with Estonia - Brief
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Australia
- Estonian embassy in Vienna
- Belarussian consulate general in Tallinn
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Belarus
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
- The Estonian President received credentials from the Ambassador of Chile
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Estonia and Chile
- Elektrooniline Riigi Teataja: Eesti Vabariigi valitsuse ja Tšiili Vabariigi valitsuse vaheline turistide viisakohustuse kaotamise kokkulepe
- Visa-free travel between Estonia, Chile comes into force, BNS news agency, Tallinn - 1 December 2000, BBC Archive
- Estonian Cabinet of Ministers: Prime Minister spoke with the President of Chile about the common interests of both states
- Ärileht 4 December 2008 15:21: Eesti tarbija eelistab Hispaania ja Tšiili veine
- Õhtuleht Eesti ja Tšiili ühine postmark, 25 October 2006
- Hrvatska i Estonija potpisale sporazum o ukidanje viza i readmisiji
- Partnership of Estonia and Croatia
- Egyptian embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
- Estonian embassy in Paris
- French embassy in Tallinn (in Estonian, French and Russian only)
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian ambassador to the Vatican
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Vatican embassy in Vilnius (also accredited to Estonia)
- Estonian embassy in Budapest
- Hungarian embassy in Tallinn
- Icelandic embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
- Israeli embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia)
- Estonian embassy in Rome
- Italian embassy in Tallinn
- Estonian embassy in Tokyo
- Japanese embassy in Tallinn
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Latvia
- (Estonian) (Lithuanian) (English) Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in the Republic of Lithuania
- (Lithuanian) (English) Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of Estonia
- "Convention pour favoriser les échanges et les règlements commerciaux entre l'Union économique belgo-luxembourgeoise et l'Estonie".
- Text of Agreement on Road Transport between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands
- Text of the Agreement Between Estonia and the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union on the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments.
- "Convention de double imposition : Luxembourg-Estonie".
- "Estonia, Luxembourg sign tax treaty". 15 June 2006.
- Balan Moses (3 March 2012). "Consul's big plans for a small nation". New Straits Times. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Eesti avas aukonsulaadi Malaisias" (in Estonian). e24. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Ingrid Teesalu (13 February 2012). "Estonia Opens Honorary Consulate in Malaysia". Estonian Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "Bilateral relations (Estonia and Malaysia)". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonia. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- Direction of the Estonian representation in Malta
- Direction of the Maltese representation in Estonia
- Estonia and Mexico
- Estonian embassy in The Hague
- Dutch embassy in Tallinn
- Estonian embassy in Oslo
- Norway embassy in Tallinn (in Estonian and Norwegian only)
- Estonian embassy in Warsaw
- Polish embassy in Tallinn
- Estonian embassy in Lisbon
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian honorary consulates in Portugal
- Romanian embassy in Helsinki (also accredited to Estonia), page about relations with Estonia
- Kristina Kallas, Eesti Vabariigi ja Vene Föderatsiooni riikidevahelised läbirääkimised aastatel 1990–1994 - Tartu 2000
- Eesti Ekspress: Ta astus sajandist pikema sammu - Boriss Jeltsin 1931-2007, 25 April 2007
- Citizenship Act of Estonia (§ 5. Acquisition of Estonian citizenship by birth): 
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with South Korea
- Estonian embassy in Madrid
- Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Estonian honorary consulates in Spain
- Spanish embassy in Tallinn (in Spanish only)
- Estonian embassy in Kiev
- Ukrainian embassy in Tallinn (new site)
- Estonian embassy in London
- British embassy in Tallinn
- "OUTWARD STATE VISITS MADE BY THE QUEEN SINCE 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 29 November 2008.