Newspaper: Estonia plans on closing four embassies, one consulate general
According to the Coalition Policy Agreement which went into force in May 2015, all state agencies are required to cut back on spending on human resources and operating costs, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is why the Estonian Embassies of the Czech Republic, Brazil, Portugal and Kazakhstan as well as the Consulate General in Shanghai are now threatened with closure.
Critics of the potential closures said that now is not the time to be closing embassies, as the current international situation is tense, and moreover Estonia will be assuming the presidency of the EU in the first half of 2018, but proponents of the move found that foreign mission resources should be redirected and used to strengthen embassies in more important countries, reported Estonian daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian).
The Estonian Government must approve all embassy closure proposals, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to submit an official agenda.
“As far as I know, the embassy closures are not yet confirmed,” said longtime Foreign Affairs Committee and current National Defence Committee Chairman Marko Mihkelson. “Likewise unconfirmed is [a timeline for] when one or another embassy is to be closed. It is unfortunately true, however, that we are weighing these closures.”