LIVE: A webinar marks the establishment of relations between Estonia and the UK

On 26 January 2021, Estonia and the United Kingdom will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries with a webinar; Estonian World will broadcast the webinar live at 4 PM EET / 2 PM GMT.

The Centre for Geopolitics at Cambridge University and the University of Tartu, in collaboration with the Estonian embassy in London, the British embassy in Tallinn and the Estonian foreign ministry are holding a special webinar, “100 Years of Diplomatic Relations: Estonia and the United Kingdom”.

The webinar will present a centenary message from the British prime minister, Boris Johnson. It will be moderated by Charles Clarke, the former home secretary of the United Kingdom.

The other participants in the webinar are:

Patrick Salmon, the chief historian at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and an expert on Britain’s relationship with the Baltics;

Kaarel Piirimäe, an associate professor at the Institute of History and Archaeology, the University of Tartu, and a senior research fellow at the Estonian War Museum;

Märt Volmer, the undersecretary for European Affairs at the Estonian foreign ministry;

Wendy Morton, the minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office;

Theresa Bubbear, the British ambassador to Estonia;

Tiina Intelmann, the Estonian ambassador to the UK.

A flourishing relationship

The UK has always been a strong supporter of Estonia’s independence and development. This relationship had its beginning during the Estonian War of Independence, when the UK sent a Royal Navy detachment to defend Estonia’s shores.

In the 1920s and 1930s, political and trade relations between Estonia and the UK flourished. More than 30% of Estonia’s exports went to the UK, an important trade partner for Estonia at the time.

The UK never recognised Estonia’s annexation in 1940, and it reaffirmed its recognition of Estonia’s independence on 27 August 1991 after de facto independence had been restored after the Soviet occupation.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on 5 September 1991, following which the embassies were re-opened in Tallinn and London.

Cover: A British and an Estonian soldier in Afghanistan. The image is illustrative.

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