Estonia is set to swap out its ambassador to Ukraine, replacing current ambassador Kaimo Kuusk with fellow diplomat Annely Kolk, weekly Eesti Ekspress (EE) reported Saturday.
Kuusk has served in Kyiv since August 2019, and after his standard four-year term draws to a close this August, his next assignment is to Vilnius, EE wrote (link in Estonian). Prior to launching his diplomatic career, Kuusk worked for 20 years at the Estonian Foreign Intelligence Service (EFIS), where he rose to the position of deputy director general.
Since 2019, Kolk has been serving as Estonian ambassador to Turkey, where she also represented Estonia in Azerbaijan and Iran while residing in Ankara.
She has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1999, involved primarily in legal and consular matters, serving as a diplomat for policy issues at Estonia's mission to the UN and other international organizations in Geneva and, prior to her current assignment in Ankara, being appointed the MFA's undersecretary for legal and consular affairs.
Kolk gained more public recognition for her leading role in negotiations for the successful release of 14 Estonian ship guards in India in 2017, four years after their initial arrest.
The government has already approved these appointments, but they must also first be approved by their country of assignment, following which President Alar Karis can officially appoint them to their new positions, EE noted. The names of new ambassadors aren't typically disclosed before they have been appointed.
It was also revealed Friday that Ukraine will be appointing a new ambassador of its own to Estonia, replacing Mariana Betsa, who has served in Tallinn since 2018, with Maksym Kononenko, who has previously served as Ukraine's ambassador to the Netherlands.
Estonian diplomats typically start work at their new posts in August or September.
Editor: Aili Vahtla