Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Estonia

Newsline: Australia to open its first pop-up embassy in Tallinn

Austalia has decided to open its first so-called pop-up embassy in Tallinn, as discussed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) and his Australian colleague Julie Bishop in New York on Thursday. “We are glad that Australia has decided to open its first so-called pop-up embassy in Tallinn, which will undoubtedly increase Australia’s visibility in Estonia as well as our region more broadly,” Mikser said according to a ministry press release. “An ambassador beginning work at the pop-up embassy will introduce new opportunities to the already constructive and close cooperation between our two countries,” he added. According to the Estonian minister, the experimental pop-up format for an embassy may end up leading to pilot projects for other countries as well. “Let’s hope that Australia’s positive example in its innovative pop-up embassy will encourage other countries to develop similar forms of cooperation in Estonia,” he said. A pop-up embassy is a diplomatic mission in which the ambassador does not work daily, but rather is on site as required.



Newsline: Estonia expels two Russian diplomats

Two senior Russian diplomats have been ordered to leave Estonia, the Russian embassy and Estonian Foreign Ministry have confirmed to RT, adding that they cannot give any further comment. Russia’s consul general in Narva, Dmitry Kazyonnov, and consul Andrey Surgaev were handed a note to leave the Baltic country on Friday. The Russian Foreign Ministry told RT it considers the expulsion of the diplomats “yet another unfriendly and absolutely groundless act.” Such actions from Tallinn “will not be left unanswered,” it added.


Newsline: Estonia Summons Russian Ambassador over Border ‘Abduction’

Estonia has summoned the Russian ambassador over what the Tallinn government says is the cross-border abduction of an Estonian intelligence officer operating on the Estonian side of the Russian border. The Estonian Foreign Ministry says the security officer was seized Friday by unknown gunmen and taken into Russian territory. Moscow says the man was operating on its side of the border and is suspected of being a spy. The incident comes at a time of rising tensions between Moscow and the NATO alliance, which includes the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. The Estonian Internal Security Service described the abducted officer as an anti-terrorism expert who was investigating cross-border crime when he was seized at gunpoint. The Russian Federal Security Service says the officer was armed and carrying more than $6,000, along with recording devices and other intelligence-gathering materials when detained.


Newsline: Estonian embassy opened in Azerbaijan

Estonian embassy has been opened in Baku, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry reported. Charge d’Affaires of Estonia to Azerbaijan, Jaap Ora held a meeting at the ministry on August 29, the ministry said. During the meeting, Ora informed the Azerbaijani side on the embassy’s opening. Earlier, Estonia was represented in Azerbaijan through its embassy in Turkey. Azerbaijan has an embassy in Tallinn. Over 2,500 Azerbaijanis live in Estonia.


Newsline: Estonia closing Budapest embassy

Estonia will close its embassy in Budapest, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet announced in Tallinn, saying this is the appropriate step. Hungary announced two weeks ago that it will close its embassies in Tallinn and Nicosia this year. The Estonian embassy will continue to function until September 30.


Newsline: British, Estonian consular staff meet ship crew in Indian jail

Officials from the British High Commission and the Estonia Embassy met the crew and guards of US ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio, at the Palayamkottai Central Prison in Tirunelveli. Prison sources said that that the foreign nationals were lodged at quarantine II in the prison. British High Commission representatives Petula James and Rhona Royle from Chennai and New Delhi respectively, and Margus Sarglepp from the Estonian Embassy in New Delhi, met the 23 members including six British, 14 Estonian and other foreign nationals. The embassy officials, however, avoided mediapersons waiting at the prison entrance. A prison official said that the visit had nothing to do with the legal aspect of the case and was in accordance with the protocol. Meanwhile, chief engineer of the ship Siderenko Valeriy is alleged to have enacted a suicide drama by covering his head with his shirt and holding the iron grills from outside the cell in the presence of prison guard. Earlier on Saturday, Siderenko Valeriy attempted suicide using a rope from the ship’s flagmast when the Q-branch police were conducting an inquiry. “We also advised the prison doctors to check his health condition on a regular basis,” said the official. The chief jail warder, jailor, deputy jailor and other guards are closely monitoring the movement of the inmates,” he added. Q-branch police arrested the 35 members including 10 crew members (eight Indians and two Ukraine nationals) and 25 armed guards (14 Estonians, six British nationals, four Indian and one Ukraine) of the ship under non-bailable sections and various provisions of the Arms Act, etc. They were remanded in 14 days’ judicial custody in the prison.


Newsline: Russia Expels Estonian Diplomat

Diplomatic relations between Russia and Estonia have soured after the Baltic state’s consul general, Franek Persidski, was declared persona non grata by St. Petersburg authorities. The decision may represent a Russian tit-for-tat for an incident that took place in March. The Estonian newspaper Day by Day reported that Estonia had refused to grant visas to a group of young Russians who were on their way to Tallinn to participate in round-table discussions at The Baltic Dialogue 2013. “Franek Persidski has already returned to Estonia from the consulate general in St. Petersburg,” the Estonian Foreign Ministry told Interfax late Wednesday. “This is the Russian side’s response to an earlier decision made by the Estonia authorities.”