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Canada-Estonia relations

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Bilateral relations

Canada and Estonia enjoy strong bilateral relations, owing in part to the fact that Canada did not recognize the Soviet occupation of Estonia after the Second World War and was one of the first countries to recognize Estonia’s restored de facto independence in 1991. Canada accepted thousands of Estonian refugees in the post-1945 period, and there are now approximately 24,000 Canadians of Estonian origin, representing one of the largest Estonian diasporas. Canada has had an office in Tallinn since 1991. In 2022 Canada announced that it would be establishing an embassy in Estonia with a resident ambassador. Estonia has an embassy and ambassador in Ottawa and seven honorary consuls in five provinces: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Trade relations

Bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Estonia totaled $187 million in 2022. In the same year, Canadian merchandise exports to Estonia amounted to $28.7 million. Canadian merchandise imports from Estonia reached $158.3 million in 2022.

In 2022, Canadian direct investment abroad in Estonia was valued at $25 million. That same year, foreign direct investment from Estonia in Canada was valued at $5 million.

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Operations

Canada was one of the first countries to ratify Estonia’s accession to NATO in 2004, and Canada and Estonia enjoy positive and constructive defence relations mainly through the NATO framework. Canada has provided Estonian military officers with English and/or French language training, peacekeeping skills and other types of professional development support. Canada has been sending officers to attend the Baltic Defence College in Tartu, Estonia, and has been providing that institution with lecturers and course development assistance since 2001.

Canada’s engagement in the Baltic region has been increasing, in line with NATO’s strengthened assurance and deterrence measures in the region. The most visible element of this defence posture is NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in Central and Eastern Europe, made up of multinational NATO battle groups deployed in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. Canada has taken a leading role as an eFP Framework Nation in Latvia and has deployed Canadian troops into the battle group under Operation REASSURANCE. Canada also contributes Canadian Armed Forces personnel to the NATO Force Integration Unit in Estonia. In 2014, Canada contributed $1 million to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, based in Tallinn, to purchase new hardware for cyber defence exercises, and has been a formal member of the CCDCOE since 2022, with integrated CAF personnel.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Estonia work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

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