Estonian representation in Belarus becomes NATO contact point embassy
The Latvian embassy in Belarus handed the responsibilities of the NATO contact point embassy over to the Estonian embassy in Belarus in a ceremony on Thursday.
By performing the responsibilities of a NATO contact point embassy in Belarus, Latvia had demonstrated its willingness to strengthen cooperation between NATO and Belarus, Latvian ambassador Martins Virsis said at the handover ceremony.
The Estonian embassy in Minsk will take on the duties of the contact point embassy beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
Estonian Ambassador to Belarus, Merike Kokajev, said that Estonia was determined to continue strengthening relations between the alliance and Belarus.
That Estonia was made the local NATO embassy showed that the country was a trusted ally, Kokajev said. “It also helps improve communication between NATO and Belarus, and affirms Estonia’s commitment to NATO partnership,” she was quoted by spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The ceremony in the Latvian embassy was attended by the ambassadors of the NATO member states in Belarus, military attachés, representatives of the diplomatic corps, officials of Belarus’ foreign and defense ministries, and by a delegation of the Estonian Foreign Ministry.
The Latvian Embassy in Minsk has performed the functions of the local NATO contact point embassy since January 2015. The alliance’s contact point embassies disseminate information about the role and policies of the alliance, help arrange visits by NATO officials, and assist with implementation of cooperation projects.