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North Macedonia

Last updated: July 2019

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 2 March 1995. The first ambassador of North Macedonia to Estonia Tihomir Ilievski, residing in Stockholm, presented his credentials on 21 September 1995. In 2007 North Macedonia officially opened a diplomatic representation in Tallinn, which became an embassy in 2010. The ambassador of North Macedonia to Estonia Sašo Veljanovski, who presented credentials to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on 15 February 2013, left from Estonia in January 2017. Afterwards, North Macedonia has been represented in Estonia by chargé d'affaires. The first Estonian ambassador to North Macedonia was Aivo Orav, who resided in Ankara, Turkey, followed by Arti Hilpus and Daniel Schaer who both resided in Tallinn. Estonia’s current ambassador to North Macedonia Kristi Karelsohn (residing in Budapest) presented his credentials to the previous President of North Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov on 18 January 2019.

The Honorary Consul of Estonia to North Macedonia is Saško Miladinov and the Honorary Consulate in the town of Štip was formally opened during the visit of Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on 19 November 2008. The Honorary consul of North Macedonia in Estonia is Peter Roose. The Honorary Consulate of North Macedonia, situated in Tartu, was opened during the visit of Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in February 2012.


To North Macedonia
July 2017 Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas
October 2012 Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications Juhan Parts, accompanied by a business delegation
June 2012 Minister of Culture Rein Lang
October 2009 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves
November 2008 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
March 2008 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
To Estonia
May 2019 Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov
December 2017 Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Bujar Osmani
November 2017 Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov 
March 2015 Minister of Information Society and Administration Ivo Ivanovski, accompanied by a business delegation
February 2014 Minister of Work and Social Affaires Dime Spasov
June 2013 Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski
February 2012 Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki
November 2011 Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kancheska-Milevska
October 2010 President Gjorge Ivanov, Minister of Information Society Ivo Ivanovski
April 2010 Minister Antonio Milošoski attended the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Tallinn
March 2009 Foreign Minister Antonio Milošoski
October 2008 Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Ivica Bocevski
April 2008 Minister of Investments Gligor Tashkovich
February 2008 Minister of Information Society Ivo Ivanovski

Furthermore, there have been several high-level meetings during international events and conferences. For example, on 26 November 2013, Prime Minister of Estonia Andrus Ansip and Prime Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Gruevski met bilaterally in Bucharest during the summit between China and Central and Eastern European countries. In December 2014, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Keit-Pentus Rosimannus and Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Poposki met in Basel in the margins of OSCE Ministerial Council. Prime ministers Nikola Gruevski and Taavi Rõivas met in November 2015 in Beijing on the margins of the meeting of China and Central and Eastern European countries. Foreign Minister of Estonia Marina Kaljurand and Foreign Minister of North Macedonia Nikola Poposki met during the Munich Security Conference in February 2016. The previous Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser also met his counerpart Poposki a year later at the same conference. In July 2016 in the margins of NATO Summit in Warsaw the former Minister of Defence of Estonia Hannes Hanso met his counterpart Zoran Jolevski. Regular political consultations have taken place between the foreign ministries of the two countries (the latest consultations took place in February 2019) as well as many departmental and training visits.

Interparliamentary co-operation

The current formation of the Riigikogu has not established an Estonia - North Macedonia parliamentary group after the elections in March 2019, but in the XIII Riigikogu the parliamentary group was chaired by Eerik Niiles-Kross and in the XII Riigikogu the group was chaired by Margus Hanson. The Baltic countries parliamentary group in the Assembly of the Republic North Macedonia is chaired by Juliana Nikolova and in 23-24 April 2018, the President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi visited Tallinn to participate in the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments.


The following agreements have been concluded between Estonia and North Macedonia:

  • Agreement on International Road Transport of Passengers and Goods between the Republic of Estonia and the Republic of Macedonia, signed 30.05.2000 (came info effect 22 August 2000)
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Tax Evasion (signed 20 November 2008, came into effect 21 May 2009)
  • Agreement on the Exchange and Mutual Protection of Classified Information (signed 20 November 2008, came into effect 1 June 2009)
  • Implementation Protocol between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Macedonia on the Readmission on Illegally Residing Individuals Agreement between the European Community and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (signed 23 April 2010, came into effect 23 July 2010)

Economic Relations

In 2018 North Macedonia was Estonia’s 83th partner in volume of trade (with 4,2 million euros). North Macedonia was Estonia’s 97th export partner (with 1 million euros) and 64th import partner (with 3,2 million euros). The share of Estonian origin products was 44%. According to data from Krediidiinfo, there was  10 companies from North Macedonia in 2017 who were exporting to Estonia and data from Äriregister indicates that in May 2018 there were six companies in Estonia that had shareholders from North Macedonia. ICT continued to be a promising field of cooperation.

The first flight of Nordica to the popular summer destination of North Macedonia, Ohrid took place on 1 June 2018. Nordica flew to Ohrid until 14 September 2018 and Ohrid will remain in the flight schedule of Nordica also in summer 2019. Ohrid is one of the oldest towns in Europe and belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Estonian - North Macedonia trade 2014-2018 (in thousands of euros)

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Export 224 213 1137 2405 994
Import 136 191 624 3691 3203
Turnover 360 404 1761 6024 4197
Balance 88 22 512 -1214


All economic figures originate from the Statistics Estonia

Defence co-operation

Defence co-operation between Estonia and North Macedonia began in 2004. Many soldiers of North Macedonia have studied in Estonia and from 2004-2007, Estonia sponsored the studies of three soldiers of North Macedonia at the Baltic Defence College. During the 2007-2008 academic year, a representative of North Macedonia took part in the Joint Command and General Staff Course and in 2009 in the Army Intermediate Command and Staff Course.

  • Estonia took part in the EU’s military mission Concordia from 31.03.2003 – 15.12.2003 with one staff officer.
  • Estonia took part in the EU Police Mission Proxima from 15.12.2003 - 14.12.2005 with 1 staff officer.

Development co-operation

Over the years Estonia has supported North Macedonia in implementing many projects. These have primarily been aimed towards developing Macedonian e-government. Some projects that have taken place over the years:

  • From 11-16.05.2008, the e-Governance Academy organised a training course in Tallinn for state officials of North Macedonia on the usage of information technology and the division of labour among the Estonian Land Board and the other establishments in its jurisdiction.
  • From 2-3.06.2008 an expert of the Estonian Land Board consulted officials of North Macedonia on-site.
  • From 19.-22.10.2008 a representative of AS Cybernetica visited North Macedonia and consulted with IT Minister Ivo Ivanovski on X-Road matters.
  • From May-October 2010 a project was carried out in North Macedonia in order to share Estonia’s experiences with establishing an electronic identity system.
  • Estonia has provided scholarships for diplomats from North Macedonia to attend the Estonian School of Diplomacy. Most recently a Macedonian student attended the school during the 2013/2014 academic year.
  • In April 2012 a group from North Macedonia came to Estonia for a study trip, which was funded by resources from the European Union TAIEX programme. During the trip, Estonia shared its experiences with implementing international sanctions.
  • During 2014-2015, in the framework of development cooperation, Estonia supported a project to develop the telephone based medical counselling for the inhabitants of North Macedonia.
  • In October 2014 a study visit of three journalists from North Macedonia to Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School took place, financed by the Estonian development cooperation budget.
  • In March 2015 a Macedonian business delegation visited Tallinn and participated in a business forum in the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was also financed by the Estonian development cooperation budget.
  • In September and October 2015 the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Personnel Manager from the Ministry of Finance carried out a TAIEX project for civil servants of North Macedonia about the labour market and work related legislation.
  • Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board participates in North Macedonia together with the Netherlands and Slovenia in a Twinning project in the area of agriculture and agricultural registers. The aim of the project is to further strengthen the AFSARD (Agency for Financial Support of Agriculture and Rural Development of North Macedonia) and to help the Agency to prepare for the EU aid programming period 2014-2020.
  • In May 2016 a TAIEX Study Visit on the Use of Digital Certificates for Public Services  took place in Tallinn. 
  • On March 30, 2016 the Estonian Auditors' Association signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Council for Advancement and Oversight of Audit of the Republic of North Macedonia (CAOARM) in Tallinn. The cooperation will involve staff of both institutions through exchange of information, know-how and skills, thus enhancing the institutional capacities.
  • In 2016 an Estonian expert carried out training on statistics for health sector officials of North Macedonia, financed by WHO.
  • An Estonian NGO "Eesti Abikeskused" implemented from January 2016 to March 2017 a project in North Macedonia which was funded by the IPA programme „Increasing the supply of the qualified work-force among the labour market risk-groups in Macedonia".
  • In June 2019 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a study visit for a group of journalists from Western Balkan countries to Tallinn (two journalists from North Macedonia participated in the visit).


On 16 June 2009, the former Estonian Ambassador to North Macedonia Aivo Orav and Honorary Consul Saško Miladinov opened a photo exhibit about the Estonian island of Kihnu in Stip. During 2009 the exhibit was displayed in various locations around North Macedonia. On 14 October, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves opened the same exhibit in the capital Skopje.

In the beginning of 2010 the secretary general of the Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia visited Estonia and met with representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the Tallinn 2011 project.

In August 2011 Estonian archaeologists visited North Macedonia at the invitation of the Stip Museum and became acquainted with excavations in the area.

From 4-5 November 2011, Minister of Culture of North Macedonia Elizabeta Kancheska-Milevska visited Estonia. On 4 November she met with Minister of Culture Rein Lang. During the events of the North Macedonia Week organised within the framework of Tallinn Capital of Culture 2011, visitors were introduced to Macedonian handicrafts, embroidery, national garments, contemporary art, and folk dances and songs. Minister of Culture of Estonia Rein Lang paid a reciprocal visit to North Macedonia in June 2012. During his visit he saw museums in Skopje, visited the town of Ohrid, and met with the minister of culture and the directors of cultural institutions.

Estonia and North Macedonia have also co-operated in the area of librarianship in the past few years. For example, the late-19th century work by Slavonic scholar Gotthilf Leonhard Masing on the definition of Slavic languages was found from the Tartu Uinversity Library and digitalised. Thanks to the co-operation of Macedonian representation in Estonia and Tartu University, the digital copies of the work were given to be stored at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences, the library of the state university, and Macedonian Language Institute. North Macedonia has acknowledged this act by giving the Tartu University library works on Macedonian language, history, and culture. Now one can also find Macedonian magazines on the shelves of Estonian libraries for the first time ever.

In addition, Macedonian films have been screened during the Black Nights Film Festival.

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