U.S.- Estonia Relations

  1. U.S.- Estonia Relations
  2. History of the U.S. and Estonia

Bilateral relations between Estonia and the United States of America have been steady and strong since  the Republic of Estonia declared its independence.

The United States recognised the Republic of Estonia on July 28, 1922. The first Estonian diplomatic mission to the United States was commenced in the same year. It continued its activities throughout the illegal occupation of Estonia by the Soviet Union from 1940 to 1991. The government of the United States of America recognised the Estonian diplomatic mission as the legal representative of the Republic of Estonia. The recognition of the legal continuity of the Republic of Estonia has been the cornerstone of Estonian-U.S. relations. The United States has never recognised the annexation by the Soviet Union.

The United States reopened its Embassy in Tallinn on September 4, 1991, soon after the restoration of Estonia’s de facto independence on August 20, 1991. Since then, the development of relations between the two countries has been constructive and stable.

As a result of its global political and economic impact, the United States is one of the most important partners of Estonia. The bilateral relations are strong, which is corroborated by the dialogue between the countries in several matters of great importance to Estonia as well as to the United States. Beside the political dialogue, the bilateral relations between Estonia and the United States are characterized by efficient practical co-operation in the areas of state defence, international fight against terrorism, and crime prevention. In regional issues, a close dialogue is taking place in the framework of EPINE – Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe.

Since March 29, 2004, Estonia is a member state of NATO, which signifies a strengthened allied relationship between Estonia and other members of the alliance, including the United States.

The decision to accept Estonia as a member of NATO was reached at the summit in Prague in 2002. The role of the United States in shaping of this decision was decisive. The Senate unanimously ratified Estonia’s accession to NATO on May 8, 2003.

In addition to direct security policy aspects, co-operation in areas like cyber security and internet freedom, and projects to support developing democracies (Leaders Engaged in New Democracies – LEND) between the two countries are continuously gaining importance. Both countries are focused on work to enhance the economic cooperation that declined slightly in 2013.