Estonia to buy new embassy building in Latvia ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

The building the new Estonian embassy will be situated in in Riga.
The building the new Estonian embassy will be situated in in Riga. Source: ERR

The government intends to buy a building opposite the presidential palace in Riga and open the first new Estonian embassy with an "open" concept, following in the footsteps of Scandinavia and Switzerland.

The Estonian ambassador to Latvia Arti Hilpus said the new embassy in the historical center of Riga will open in a couple of years time, ETV's Aktuaalne kaamera reported.

Currently, on the site of the future embassy, ​​there is an office building built in Soviet times. Negotiations for the sale of the building are still ongoing.

"Currently there is no legally binding contract, but since the state lives by the financial year, there is hope that we will be able to sign the contract with the seller this year," Hilpus said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will trial the new embassy concept in Latvia, and then look to expand it to other countries if it is successful. The concept of the embassy ​​is that it should become part of the urban space and introduce Estonia's digital solutions and tourism opportunities. Similar approaches have been used successfully by the Nordic countries and Switzerland.

"This will be the first attempt, and in the future, we want to see such a model for all Estonian embassies when the ground floor can be entered from the street so that the embassy is not a closed bastion, but a place where we introduce Estonia," said foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu.

The foreign ministry plans to sell the current embassy building in Riga and use the money to cover the costs of buying the new building.  

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Editor: Helen Wright

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