January 26, 2021 marks the centenary of our country’s diplomatic relations with Estonia and Latvia, whose independence Belgium recognized in 1921. Belgium maintained this historic decision during the decades following the Second World War and stood by these countries when they regained their independence in 1991.
Our countries are united both by history and by the construction of Europe. Belgium actively supported the accession of Estonia and Latvia to the EU and NATO. Belgium’s long-standing contribution to strengthening deterrence and security in the Baltic Sea region is currently being demonstrated through the participation of our armed forces in the NATO’s “Enhanced Forward Presence” operation. Belgium and Estonia have been cooperating closely in the framework of our recent respective mandates in the UN Security Council, particularly on the impact of climate change on international peace and security.
Sophie Wilmès: “Even if, in the current circumstances, we have to do so with less pomp than we would have liked, Belgium is very pleased to celebrate this special centenary with two countries that are not only strong trading partners, but with whom we also share a predilection for science and culture. The fact that they are both dynamic and progressive was demonstrated by Estonia yesterday with the appointment of its first woman Prime Minister and a new government with a gender balance. I look forward to continuing to work closely together and further strengthening the excellent ties between our two countries and our people”.