The Estonian Central Council in Canada (EKN) welcomes the latest report issued unanimously by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee entitled: Strengthening Canadian Engagement in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. EKN urges the Government to move forward with the report’s recommendations and establish full diplomatic missions in Estonia and Lithuania to address the concern of resources being spread too thin in the region.
The report recommends the Government of Canada continue with current commitments, such as leading the NATO reassurance mission in Latvia, and contribute more towards working with the Baltic States on cyber defence and combatting disinformation. It also raised a key issue of fixing the dispersed nature of Canadian diplomatic representation in the Baltics.
“The Baltic States are important, frontline, NATO allies for Canada and as such, our relationship with them requires and deserves full diplomatic representation in all three capitals,” said Marcus Kolga, President of the Estonian Central Council in Canada.
Canada’s ambassador to Estonia currently resides in Latvia and is also accredited to Lithuania. As the report cites for this case, “such a network spreads Canada’s resources and capacity too thin and makes strategies, particularly the promotion of commercial interests, less effective. While the Committee recognizes that Canada’s financial and diplomatic resources are limited, it also believes that such constraints should not compromise the pursuit of Canadian international priorities.”
As Canada has made the Baltic region a priority through closer NATO cooperation and sharing a free trade agreement, EKN calls on the Government to put in place the needed diplomatic infrastructure.
EKN is nationally elected by Canadians of Estonian heritage. The Council represents the interests of the Estonian community in Canada and works to support them. It represents the Estonian Canadian community with all levels of government in Canada, Estonia and elsewhere.