Due to state budget spending cuts, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is laying off 45 positions and closing the consulates general in New York and San Francisco next summer.
The consulates general in New York and San Francisco will be closed starting next summer and consular services and economic diplomacy in the direction of the United States will be reorganized, ministry spokespeople said. During the reorganization, the Estonian embassy in Washington will be supplemented with a consular diplomat and an economic diplomat.
«When planning the savings concerning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in more detail, we have proceeded from the principle that we must continue to be able to fulfill our main tasks successfully, including the active implementation of foreign policy. When preparing for a possible cut, we analyzed all units of the ministry,» Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said. «The reduction of positions affects all areas of our activities and also our foreign missions.»
«In order to ensure the efficiency and purposefulness of our work, we are reviewing both our network of foreign missions and the provision of consular services in the United States. Business diplomacy and supporting companies in international markets remains the central work direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and we are looking for ways to do this more efficiently. We plan to expand the network of Estonian honorary consuls who provide consular assistance to Estonian citizens as well as help promote Estonian business interests in the US,» Tsahkna added.