Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Reform) presented outgoing Ukrainian Ambassador to Estonia Mariana Betsa with the Foreign Ministry's Cross of Merit, Third Class, on Monday, highlighting that since 2018, Betsa has been a spokesperson for Ukraine's resilience and represented the country in Estonia with dignity.
"Mariana Betsa has been the ambassador to Estonia since 2018, and has worked tirelessly to advance relations between Estonia and Ukraine," Reinsalu said according to a press release. "You have been the spokesperson for your country's creativity, beauty and resilience, and have represented Ukraine with dignity as it fights for its survival in the war against the brutal aggressor Russia."
Betsa has been a good partner for Estonia, helping with deliveries of humanitarian aid to Ukraine and keeping the matter of accountability for war criminals in the spotlight, the minister noted.
The ambassador has also been an advocate for Ukraine in both the local and international media landscape as well, he continued, and has been a respected colleague not only for the Foreign Ministry, but also the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Social Affairs as well, with whom she has worked to help war refugees from Ukraine in Estonia.
She has advanced bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the private sector as well, particularly in areas such as the e-state and e-services.
"Last year was incredibly tragic, but it was also the year that demonstrated the strength of our partnership and friendship," Reinsalu underscored. "The role of Ambassador Betsa in boosting relations cannot be underestimated. I would like to express my deep gratitude."
Last month, Ukraine announced that it will be appointing a new ambassador to Estonia, replacing Betsa, who has served in Tallinn since 2018, with Maksym Kononenko.
Kononenko previously served as Ukraine's ambassador to the Netherlands.
Editor: Aili Vahtla