Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said Estonian relations with the People's Republic of China have been reset following several years of chillier interaction over the latest visit by the Dalai Lama in 2011.
A Chinese foreign ministry site emphasized that Estonia had apologized for the visit, during which several Estonian officials met the Tibetan religious leader, and that Estonia recognizes Tibet as part of China. Paet did not confirm or deny this. His remarks, made to ETV by telephone:
Is it true that Estonia has apologized to China over the Dalai Lama?
We expressed regret that in recent years Estonian-Chinese relations have not been what they could have been and should be. So this has been a pretty time-consuming process to get them back on track and as we know they are now back, which allows normal Estonian-Chinese relations to go forward in various fields.
What new possibilities could open up as to, say, selling Estonian agricultural products now that good relations are restored?
It's difficult to say exactly. We are back in our relations where two countries should be in their relations. I expect, in other words, that the obstacles that have slowed and halted all sorts of bilateral relations, including economic ones, in the intervening years have now been removed. So there should be no artificial obstacles in further developing these relations. But what will happen exactly in the future, this depends on specific interest in specific fields, which, as I said, were disrupted in recent years.