Outgoing Finnish ambassador to Estonia H.E. Timo Kantola has been awarded the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (Maarjamaa Risti teenetemärk), Class III by President Alar Karis, as recognition to deepening relations between the two countries.
Following the ceremony at Kadriorg, President Karis noted Ambassador Kantola's active promotion of the cooperation between Estonia and Finland in very practical areas.
"I am sure that our countries are a positive example for other states in promoting digital cooperation," Karis said, by way of example.
The president also noted that Ambassador Kantola's term, which began in September 2018, coincided with the historical moment at which Finland opted to join Estonia as a NATO member state.
"This brings our countries even closer to one other and opens up new avenues for strengthening security and defense cooperation," the president went on.
Other highlights were the celebration of 100 years of diplomatic relations – Finland became independent in December 1917, just months before Estonia followed suit.
Challenges included the Covid pandemic and the imposition of travel restrictions by both countries, bringing regular cross-Gulf ferry services to a halt for several months.
Estonia pushed for exemptions to the Finnish restrictions on entry, while Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) summonsed the ambassador on the matter.
Kantola is heading to Hong Kong next, where he will be Finland's Consul General.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Office of the President of the Republic of Estonia