Estonian embassy in Minsk to take over as NATO contact point embassy
Next week, the Latvian Embassy in Minsk will hand over the status of Alliance Contact Point Embassy (CPE) in Belarus to the Embassy of Estonia.
The mandate will be handed over in a ceremony at the Latvian Embassy on Thursday. The Estonia Embassy will serve as the CPE in the capital of Belarus from the beginning of 2017 through the end of 2018, spokespeople for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
The ceremony will be preceded by an international seminar held at the Belarusian State University earlier on Thursday titled "International Security and NATO in 2016," in which Mariin Ratnik, director of the Security Policy and Transatlantic Relations at the Political Department of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will take part as a guest.
Established originally as a tool to contribute to NATO's outreach efforts in partner countries, the alliance's network of CPEs was extended to other partners across the globe following the review of NATO's partnerships policy in April 2011. A CPE serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the alliance.
NATO's member countries volunteer the services of their embassies in partner countries to assume the duties of CPE for a period of two years at a time. The final decision on the assignment of CPEs is reached by consensus in the North Atlantic Council, the principal decision-making body within NATO.