The downturn in China-Estonian relations since 2011, which is now only becoming normalized, has taught Estonia a lesson, says Raimo Poom, the head of foreign editorial board at Eesti Päevaleht.
Poom told ERR radio that relations soured in 2011, after the Dalai Lama was met in Estonia with what essentially amounted to a presidential and governmental welcome.
A Chinese foreign ministry press release said Estonia has now apologized for the visit and supports a one-China policy.
Poom said he hopes this means closer political and economic relations. “This missing the train has not been beneficial for Estonia,” he said, pointing to low volumes of trade between the two nations.
He said Estonian diplomats have been attempting to smooth over the visit with China.
“The situation is identical to what has happened to other European nations, who have decided that it is great and proud to meet the Dalai Lama. But after that years are needed to solve problems with China,” he said.
“It is a question of consequences. It is our own choice. For a day of photo opportunities with the Dalai Lama there were consequences. I am not sure if the two are measurable, but I hope Estonian politicians understand that there are certain ramifications and maybe the costs should be weighed before-hand,” Poom said.