Estonia currently has embassies in 38 countries.
“The priority of networking must be to establish representation with allies and neighbors. To strengthen existing ones first and then perhaps some new ones,” wrote Maasikas for the journal Diplomaatia.
He points out that until 2010, Estonia only opened embassies in which it had political and security interests. “From 2010 and beyond – with the exception of an embassy that opened in Romania in 2016 – we have dealt with presenting ourselves as bigger and richer than us,” remarked Maasikas, asking how affordable and necessary it was for Estonian diplomats in Delhi , Canberra, Abu Dhabi and soon also in Singapore and Seoul. Another embassy is planned in Nairobi, Kenya.
“We are currently justifying the opening of new embassies with more active economic relations,” writes Maasikas. “At the same time, we don’t even want to get to know the countries better when it comes to representing Estonian economic affairs. Since last year, only one economic officer has been employed in the embassy in Riga, Latvia.”
Maasikas calls for embassies in distant lands to be closed or downsized, but stresses that both foreign policy and foreign trade policy begin from home, then from neighbors and then from allies.
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