Friday sees centennial of Estonian-Romanian diplomatic relations
100 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties with Romania is being marked Friday, the anniversary of Romania's recognition of Estonian independence de jure, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.
Foreign minister Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) met with Carmen Florea, chargé d'affaires at the Romanian Embassy in Tallinn, to discuss both historical and current relations between the two nations.
Liimets said: "Despite the geographical distance between Estonia and Romania, our predecessors established solid relations: They appointed corresponding representatives, and Romania opened its representation in Estonia in 1935."
"Today we have become good partners in the EU and allies in NATO. We are like-minded on many issues, including in security policy, and are cooperating in various formats, such as the Three Seas Initiative (3SI)," Liimets went on, in a ministry press release.,
The minister said she appreciated Romania's participation in and contribution to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) in Tallinn, and said the 3SI, of which Estonia was host nation last year, was a great chance to enhance economic cooperation between the two states. Estonia is also ready to cooperate on e-solutions, Liimets said.
February 26 1921, just over three years after Estonia declared its independence and a little over a year after the Tartu Peace Treaty was concluded with the fledgling Soviet Russian state, guaranteeing the new republic's existence, then Ambassador of Romania to Denmark, Mihail Pâclianu, informed the Estonian consul in Copenhagen, Edmund Kinkmann, of his country's de jure recognition of Estonia.
Romania had already become independent (from the Ottoman Empire) in 1878 and established an embassy in Tallinn was opened in 1935. Prior to that the nearest full embassy was variously in Riga or Warsaw. The Tallinn embassy operated until 1939. The first Estonian republic did not have full diplomatic representation in Bucharest.
Secret protocols contained in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had an enormous impact on the fates of both countries. Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940, then Nazi Germany from summer 1941 to autumn 1944, when the Soviets returned, this time for close to half a century.
Initially allied with Nazi Germany, Romania sent troops to fight in Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Later on in the war, Romania took the Soviet Union's side, meaning it subsequently came under Soviet influence as a Warsaw Pact country. This remained the status quo until the December 1989 revolution, which removed, and executed, Nicolae Ceaușescu as ruler.
Both countries lost territory after the war.
The two countries re-established diplomatic relations on September 13 1991, meaning the 30th anniversary of this event will also be celebrated this year. Romania reopened its embassy, on Rävala pst, in 2016, a year after Estonia's first ever embassy in Bucharest had been established.
Today, the Romanian Embassy is opening an exhibition at the National Library of Estonia on the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The foreign ministry has also produced this timeline of Estonian-Romanian diplomatic relations, in English.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte