U.S. Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sign Purchase Agreement for New Embassy

June 20, 2023

U.S. Ambassador to Estonia George P. Kent and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Under Secretary for Administrative Affairs Olavi Seisonen signed an agreement today, officially marking the U.S. Government’s purchase of land between Suur-Ameerika and Väike-Ameerika streets for the construction of a new U.S. embassy. In a ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, U.S. Ambassador George P. Kent emphasized that the purchase of the property is an important milestone for the new Embassy project, currently in the detailed planning process with the City of Tallinn, as well as for the U.S.-Estonia partnership.

“This is a great moment in the over 100-year history of relations between the United States and Estonia. Our purchase of the land for a new U.S. embassy in Tallinn demonstrates our commitment to stand side-by-side with our Estonian partners as we work to protect our shared security, expand our economic ties, and enhance our cultural connections,” Ambassador Kent said.

Ambassador Kent also reflected on the history of the current U.S. embassy location and its significance in U.S.-Estonian relations.

“Our current location on Kentmanni Street has served us well since we first entered the building in 1930. Though we were forced to leave in 1940, we never recognized the Soviet Union’s illegal occupation of Estonia and maintained our relationship with the Republic of Estonia throughout the occupation. In 1992, we returned to the same building to demonstrate the continuity of the U.S.-Estonia relationship.”

“We are thankful to the Kentmanni community that has hosted us for so many years.  We look forward to joining the Uus Maailm community and having our new embassy located on two streets named ‘America’, thanks to the neighborhood heritage that dates back to the 19th century. We are committed to being a good neighbor and to using our new space to continue to grow and strengthen the U.S.-Estonia partnership.”

Beginning this week, the U.S. Embassy will maintain a presence at the site for routine security. In the coming months, the site will be closed to the public for additional site preparations, as part of the ongoing detailed planning and infrastructure revision processes, as well as the design and construction phases. The new U.S. embassy project is managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), along with its local consultant, Esplan OÜ.

Photos from the signing ceremony: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAJvYp