In 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will prioritize strengthening existing embassies. There are no plans to reduce the number of embassies or to create new ones, said Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Reinsalu said that Estonia has 47 external representations. "These are bilateral embassies, consulates and representatives to international organizations in."
The most recent decisions to open new embassies, Reinsalu said, were the Singapore and South Korean embassies, which were opened for economic reasons. "These have now finally got their own premises," he said.
The minister emphasized that the construction of the new premises for the Latvian embassy in Riga is the largest project this year.
Reinsalu said that the Foreign Ministry's budget priority for 2023 is to strengthen existing embassies.
"Apart from people, the most important project in the embassy field has been to ensure the security of the embassies in terms of communication systems and the handling of classified information. Last year, this was one of the most important activities," Reinsalu said.
Reinsalu said that the Estonian embassy in Moscow has fewer than ten diplomats working.
"The embassy is smaller than it was during peaceful times. We also had consulates in St. Petersburg and Pskov, but after Estonia closed its consulates in Tartu and Narva as a diplomatic protest, Russia opted not to allow these two consulates to remain open," Reinsalu explained.
Editor: Kristina Kersa