Moldova recognised the Republic of Estonia on the 28th of August 1991 and Estonia recognised Moldova on the 20th of February 1992. Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Moldova were established on the 10th of November 1992. Estonia covers Moldova from the Estonian Embassy in Bucharest. H. E. the Ambassador Mr. Ants Frosch presented his credentials to the President of the Republic of Moldova H. E. Mr. Nicolae Timofti on the 21st of October 2015.
Since January 2018 Mr. Simmu Tiik works in Chisinau as a diplomatic representative of Estonia. His portfolio covers advancing bilateral relations and development cooperation, and also representing the interest of Estonian citizens and businesses.
H.E. Inga Ionesii presented her credentials to the President of Estonia, H.E. Mr. Toomas Hendrik Ilves on the 6th of May 2016. As of October 2006, Estonia is also represented in Moldova by Honorary Consul Igor Goncearov. In October 2012 Moldova opened an honorary consulate in Tartu, where Mr. Tiit Vapper is the Honorary Consul. Since May 2016 Mr. Einar Vallbaum is the Moldovan Honorary Consul in the counties of Lääne-Viru, Ida-Viru, Järva, Jõgeva, Harju, Lääne, Saare, Hiiu and Rapla.
For a long time Estonian-Moldovan relations were not very intensive, but they have become considerably closer in recent years. Moldova’s clear choice and European integration have enabled bilateral co-operation to focus on rendering assistance to Moldova in the framework of bilateral and multilateral co-operation. Moldova has been one of Estonia’s priority partner countries for development co-operation since 2006. In rendering help to Moldova, Estonia has mostly focused on projects for raising the capability of the public sector, providing assistance to the establishment of an e-governance information system, and on health care, environmental and educational projects.
The Estonia-Moldova parliamentary friendship group was established in the Riigikogu in September 2005. The Estonia-Moldova parliamentary friendship group established in the XIII Riigikogu is chaired by Mr. Erki Savisaar, and further 17 Members of the Riigikogu are members of the friendship group. In the Moldovan Parliament, the Moldova-Estonia parliamentary friendship group was first established in 2006.
|February 2017||Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser|
|April 2015||Minister of Foreign Affairs Keit Pentus-Rosimannus|
|April 2015||Riigikogu Moldova friendship group chairman Mr. Deniss Boroditš with an Estonian business delegation|
|October 2014||Delegation of Riigikogu Standing Commission for EU Affaris (Kalle Palling, Marianne Mikko, Liisa Pakosta)|
|October 2014||Minister of Agriculture Ivari Padar (together with a business delegation)|
|October 2014||Minister for Social Protection Helmen Kütt|
|September 2014||Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alar Streimann at the Friends of Moldova Group meeting|
|October 2013||President Toomas Hendrik Ilves|
|September 2013||Minister for Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler (together with a business delegation)|
|September 2013||Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet|
|March 2012||Minister of Agriculture Helir-Valdor Seeder|
|April 2016||Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Galbur|
|December 2015||Minister of Health Ruxanda Glavan|
|July 2015||Minister of Health Mircea Buga together with a delegation of higher officials of health care at a study visit to Estonia.|
|August 2012||Parliament Speaker Vlad Plahotniuc|
|July 2012||Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Vasile Bumacov|
|November 2011||Youth and Sport Minister Ion Cebanu|
|October 2011||Prime Minister Vladimir Filat, Foreign Minister Iurie Leancă, Minister of Defence Vitalie Marinută, Minister of Social Affairs Valentina Buliga, Minister of Education Mihai Sleahtitchi, Minister of the Environment Gheorge Salaru|
|August 2010||Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Valeriu Cosarciuc|
|June 2010||Foreign Minister Iurie Leancă|
There is a tradition to hold yearly bilateral political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs. The most recent consultations were held in Chisinau in April 2018.
There have been numerous visits of Moldovan regional leaders to Estonia.
Several Moldovan investigative journalists have visited Estonia with the aim to write about Estonia as a Member State of the European Union – how the EU has changed Estonia, what has been achieved and what are the lessons learned. Additionally, there have been study visits from companies, including from the ITC.
In November 2013, President Arnold Rüütel and in January 2014, Member of Riigikogu Jevgeni Ossinovski visited Moldova to share the Estonian experience in the EU.
The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Vlad Loghin visited Estonia in February 2015 under the auspicies of the “Days of Moldova” introducing Moldovan viticulture. Moldova also participated at the 3rd International Conference Agroforum Mare Balticum in April 2015.
In June 2015, a delegation headed by the Head of Department, Ruve Šank from the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs visited Moldova. They were received by the Deputy Minister Vlad Loghin.
In November 2015, the Member of Riigikogu Dmitri Dmitrijev was in Gagausia at an International investment forum and met with the bashkan Irina Vlah.
In January 2016, a delegation of the Congress of Local Authorities from Moldova visited Estonia. They met with several Members of Riigikogu and members of the Union of Municipality Governments, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the latter.
In March 2016, a delegation headed by the Head of Department, Ruve Šank from the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs held meetings in Moldova with the Deputy Minister Vasile Luca and the Moldovan Agency for Rural Development.
- Co-operation Agreement in the Field of Commerce and Economy (came into force 31.10.95);
- Co-operation Protocol between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Moldova (came into force 03.04.1996)
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Moldova on International Transport of Passengers and Goods by Road (21.04.1997)
- Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation with Income Tax and Capital Tax and the Evasion of Taxes (came into force on 21.07.98);
- Agreement on the exchange of industrial property protection documentation between the State Agency on Industrial Property Protection of the Republic of Moldova and the Estonian Patent Office (came into force 6.07.2000)
- Agreement on Co-operation in the Fight against Crime (came into force 28.12.00)
- Agreement on Cultural Co-operation (came into force 21.08.2008)
- Co-operation agreement between the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Local Public Administrations of Moldova (came into force 13.02.2009)
- Implementation protocol between the government of the Republic of Estonia and the government of the Republic of Moldova on the agreement on readmission of illegally residing persons between the European Community and the Republic of Moldova (came into force 10.05.2010)
- Memorandum of mutual understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Estonia and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of the Republic of Moldova on research and economic co-operation in the field of agriculture (came into force 16.08.2010)
- Agreement on bilateral co-operation between the Tax and Customs Board of the Republic of Estonia and the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova (came into force 10.11.2010)
- Co-operation agreement between the Border Guard Board of the Police and Border Guard Board of the Republic of Estonia and the Border Guard Service of the Republic of Moldova (came into force 21.12.2010)
- Agreement for the Protection of Investments (came into force 21.04.2011)
- Agreement on Co-operation in Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports (came into force 10.12.2011)
- Social Security Agreement Between Estonia and Moldova (came into force 01.08.2012)
In addition, many bilateral agreements have been concluded between various agencies.
In 2017 Moldova was Estonia’s 43rd trade partner, 60th export partner and 64th import partner. Moldova is an agrarian-industrial nation. The primary agricultural articles of export are wine (including cognac) and there are about 300 000 people involved in Moldova’s wine industry (mostly large national companies).
Trade between Estonia and Moldova 2012-2017 (in millions EUR):
Source: Statistical Office of Estonia
Main export articles in 2017:
- Live animals and animal products – 33%
- machinery and mechanical appliances – 27%
- electrical equipment, television image and sound recorders and reproducers – 19%
- Chemical products (carbolic acid; paints and varnishes based on dispersed synthetic or natural polymers) – 18%
Main import articles in 2017:
- Food products and beverages (alcohol; confections; baked goods) – 49%
- Beverages, fruit and nuts – 26%
- textiles and textile articles – 8%
Trade turnover in 2017 totalled 7.42 million EUR, of which export made up 4.99 million EUR and import 2.42 million EUR.
Moldova has been a key partner for Estonian development cooperation in the eastern neighbourhood of the EU. The continued interest of Moldova in Estonian reform experience and their gradual EU rapprochement has created a fruitful soil for continued cooperation. In addition to its co-operation with the Foreign Ministry, successful co-operation with Moldova has also taken place through other Estonian ministries and institutions (Ministry of Social Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Education and Research, the National Audit Office, Academy of Security Sciences, and the Border Guard Board).
Estonia has supported activities related to Moldova since 2000, and as of 2006 Moldova has been one of Estonia’s priority partner countries.
The Country Strategy for Estonian-Moldovan Development Cooperation 2016–2018 is a fourth country strategy. It was adopted at the end of 2015.
The areas of priority are development of democracy and the advancement of good governance, support of reforms on the health care sector and rural development. In all this, we pay close attention to the application of information and communication technologies, and to promoting the implementation of e-governance solutions. We also support educational cooperation between universities to the end of undergirding development.
For quite some time, Estonia has contributed to the health care system in Moldova. We continue to work primarily with two projects – improving the quality of health care and the development of health insurance system (in addition to the previous work in establishing a hotline for family doctors and children, and establishing sports medicine studies at the Moldovan State University, to name a few). As a cooperation between USAID, the Estonian e-Governance Academy the digitalisation of court archives project has been completed – a project that attracted much media attention. The media has also written extensively on the joint Estonian-USAID project for conducting the first ever strategic cyber security exercise in Moldova.
The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board conducted two projects in Moldova in 2014 and 2015. The first project dealt with enhancing traffic supervision and developing a training program for emergency vehicle driving. The second focused on developing the implementation information and communication technologies for the administrative police. Moldova continues to be interested in the Estonian expertise in information and communication technology solutions, central crisis management centre capabilities, and the further development of training programs. The Estonian Internal Security Service and the NGO Corruption Free Estonia have launched a joint training project for the workers of the Moldovan National Anti-Corruption Centre.
The Estonian Centre of Eastern Partnership, opened in 2011, creates a foundation for even more extensive co-operation, focusing on increasing the administrative capacity of our Eastern Partners and sharing our own reform experiences. Seminars have been held for our Eastern Partners, including Moldova, on increasing negotiation skills as well as ethics. In addition, a training session on public procurements for Moldovan officials and a negotiations training course for the Moldovan diplomats working with the Transnistria issue have been held.
Culture and education
There are about 110 Moldovan citizens living in Estonia. The Estonian-Moldovan Society was established in 1989 with the purpose of preserving the language, culture and contacts with the homeland. The long-time chairwoman of the society was Veronika Palandi. In the framework of the International Association of National Cultural Societies of Estonia “Lyra”, the Moldovan Cultural Society “Luchaferul” is active. During the celebration of the spring holiday in March 2011, the dance group Bucuria gave its first public performance. Many artists from Moldova also live in Estonia.
Estonia carries out many education-related development co-operation projects with Moldova. Since 2010 the Foreign Ministry has supported the master’s and doctoral studies of Moldovan students in Estonian universities and research and development institutions. The Estonian School of Diplomacy contributes to the training of young Moldovan diplomats. For more information about the Foreign Ministry’s development co-operation projects in the education sector, go here: https://rakendused.vm.ee/akta/index.php?language=eng.
In October 2011 ministers Rein Lang and Mihail Sleahtitchi signed an agreement on co-operation in education, culture, youth affairs and sports, and in November 2011 Youth and Sport Minister Ion Cebanu came to Estonia in order to become acquainted with Estonia’s youth policies. In May 2011 the Ministry of Education and Research, within the framework of the European Commission’s TAIEX programme, organised a study visit on the topic of vocational education for three high state officials from Moldova.
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