Estonia–United Kingdom relations
The relationship between the UK and Estonia has its beginning during the Estonian War of Independence, when the UK sent a Royal Navy detachment led by Admiral E.A. Sinclair to defend Estonia’s shores. The British seamen who gave their lives defending Estonia's freedom during the conflict were laid to rest in the Tallinn Military Cemetery.
Before the Soviet occupation in 1940, relations between the UK and Estonia were close. The UK was a major market for Estonian produce, more than 30% of Estonia’s exports went to the UK. The United Kingdom never recognised Estonia’s annexation in 1940.
The UK recognised the restoration of Estonian Independence on 27 August 1991. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on 5 September 1991, and the British Embassy opened in Tallinn in the same year. Estonia’s relations with the UK are close. Britain provided both political and practical support to Estonia’s efforts to join the EU and NATO, and both countries are now full members of both organisations.
Both Estonia and the United Kingdom provided contributions to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
An estimated 10,000-15,000 Estonian citizens live in the UK, about 3,000-5,000 of them in London. The most active communities are in London, Bradford and Leicester. There is a total of 13 Estonian societies in the UK, the oldest being the London Estonian Society established in 1921.
Tallinn and Estonia’s reputation as a tourist destination has grown in Great Britain over the past few years. Estonia’s accession to the EU in 2004 gave a significant boost to reciprocal travel – that year 30% and the following year (2005) 60% more (62.3 thousand) British tourists were accommodated in Estonia than in previous years. In 2012 nearly 55 thousand British tourists used Estonian accommodation establishments. Tallinn has also become one of the most popular destinations among Baltic cruise ports. In 2012 over 75 000 British cruise tourists visited Estonia.
Reports of British tourists excessively drinking in Tallinn have received media coverage in the UK.
The UK is in 9th place among Estonia’s trade partners, making up 3% of Estonia’s total trade turnover. UK-Estonian trade was worth 790 million euros in 2012. As a foreign investor, the UK’s interest in Estonia has been fairly great – it is the source of 2% of all foreign direct investments made in Estonia.
Leaders regularly meet as part of the Northern Future Forum.
- Foreign relations of Estonia
- Foreign relations of the United Kingdom
- Embassy of Estonia, London
- List of Ambassadors of the United Kingdom to Estonia
- "United Kingdom - Relations". Estonian Embassy in London. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Estonia Country Profile". UK Government Web Archive. Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
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- "Estonia: Council plans Tallinn booze ban". BBC News. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Christopher Holtby OBE". Gov.uk. Retrieved 23 November 2014.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-15. Retrieved 2015-02-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "UK and Estonia - UK and the world - GOV.UK". Ukinestonia.fco.gov.uk. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
- "Outward state visits made by the queen since 1952". Official web site of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- Damien McGuinness. "Prince Harry pays tribute to Estonia's soldiers during visit". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-11-27.