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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 30.05.2020, 12:54

Estonia plans to open embassy of new type opposite Riga Castle

BC, Tallinn, 02.12.2019.Print version
Estonia plans to purchase a building opposite Riga Castle to transform it into an embassy of a new type, Estonian public broadcaster ERR reported.

The plan is to open the new Estonian embassy in Riga Old City in one or two years, Estonian public television ETV reported, citing Estonian Ambassador to Latvia Arti Hilpus. 

The property Estonia wants to purchase is a rundown Soviet-era office building. The acquisition talks have reached the final stage. 

"There is no binding purchase and sale agreement yet, but the government lives according to its fiscal year, so there is a hope that the agreement will be signed this year," the Estonian ambassador was quoted as saying.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry plans to test the new model of diplomatic mission in Latvia before opening similar missions in other countries. The open embassy is intended to become a part of the city's environment and promote Estonia's digital solutions and tourism opportunities. The embassy's concept is being developed in collaboration with entrepreneurs. The ministry's representatives noted that Nordic countries and Switzerland are already operating embassies of this type.

"This will be the first experiment, but in the future we want to see a model of Estonian embassies with an open space on the ground floor for holding events, where people can come in from the street, so that the embassy is not a closed fortress but a place where we introduce Estonia," said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu

The Estonian Foreign Ministry plans to sell the current embassy building on Skolas Street, Riga, to pay for the construction of the new embassy. 

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