Kazakhstan is to upgrade several of its foreign diplomatic missions and consulates to full embassy status, including its Estonian consulate, ERR's online news in Estonian reports.
A decree signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Thursday will see existing missions in Bratislava, Slovakia, Belgrade, Serbia, Lisbon, Portugal and Sofia, Bulgaria, all receiving embassy status, according to information published on the presidential website, in addition to those in Tallinn and Riga.
The move is said to be part of an effort to strengthen relations with the EU, according to presidential advisor and Kazakh ambassador to Finland Marat Nurtleuov, and follows official notification given to the Estonian foreign ministry by Kazakhstan last month.
"The EU is Kazakhstan's largest trading and investment partner. It accounts for half of our foreign trade turnover, and direct investment in Kazakhstan's economy. In this regard, boosting the status of Kazakhstan's diplomatic missions is an important step in deepening cooperation," Nurtleuov said, noting that the countries listed, including Estonia, are already represented at embassy-level in Astana, something which requires reciprocity.
Nurtleuov added that the proposed new embassies are to be small, but efficient.
The current Kazakh consulate in Tallinn is located on Uus-Sadama Street, close to the ferry harbor.
Editor: Andrew Whyte