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Slovakia - Relations

03.09.2015

(last updated: 21.07.2015)

 

Slovakia (then Czechoslovakia) recognised the Republic of Estonia on 29 December 1921 and re-recognised Estonia on 29 August 1991.

The sovereign, democratic Republic of Slovakia was established on 1 January 1993 after the dissolution of the federal state of Czechoslovakia. Estonia recognised the Republic of Slovakia on 15 January 1993 and diplomatic relations were established on 30 March 1993.

The first ambassador of the restored Republic of Estonia to Slovakia was Toivo Tasa, who presented his credentials in Bratislava in June 1995. Mart Laanemäe was the ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Estonia to the Slovak Republic beginning in May 1999, residing in Vienna. As of October 2003, the Estonian ambassador to Slovakia was Katrin Saarsalu-Layachi, and as of February 2010, Eve-Külli Kala. The current Estonian Ambassador to Slovakia, Rein Oidekivi, presented his credentials to Slovak President Andrej Kiska on 12 October 2015.

The first Slovakian ambassador to Estonia Emil Kuchar, who resided in Helsinki, presented his credentials in October 1999. Beginning in November of 2000, Jozef Dravecký was accredited as the ambassador, from October 2005 to May 2009 Ivan Špilda held the position. Until July 2013, Dušan Krištofik held the ambassador position, and the latest ambassador, who was in the position from November 2013 until May 2014, was Jurai Podhorský. From December 2014 the Slovakian ambassador to Estonia is Tibor Králik, who resides in Helsinki.

In 2006, Slovakia opened an honorary consulate in Tallinn. Even Tudeberg has been the honorary consul since December 2006. Estonia’s first honorary consulate in Slovakia, located in Bratislava, was opened by Minister Urmas Paet together with Slovakian Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda on 30 November 2011. The Estonian honorary consul in Slovakia is entrepreneur Peter Pochaba.

Visits

to Slovakia
March 2015 Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus
June 2013 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the meeting of the Central European heads of state in Bratislava
April 2013 President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on an official visit; attended Globsec Security Forum
April 2012 Foreign minister Urmas Paet
November 2011 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
April 2011 Minister of Finance Jürgen Ligi
February 2010 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
May 2007 Chairman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma
April 2006 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet
September 2004 Minister of Defence Margus Hanson
March 2004 Prime Minister Juhan Parts in Bratislava at the meeting of V10 Prime Ministers
October 2003 Foreign Minister Kristiina Ojuland
May 2001 Prime Minister Mart Laar in Bratislava at the meeting of V10 Prime Ministers
April 2000 Prime Minister Mart Laar
to Estonia
March 2014 Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the NB8+V4 foreign ministers meeting in Narva
April 2010 Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak at the informal NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Tallinn
August 2009 Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák
October 2005 President Ivan Gasparovic
January 2005 Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan
May 2004 Deputy Prime Minister (EU, minority) Pál Csáky
November 2003 Speaker of the Parliament Pavol Hrušovský
March 2003 Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family Ludovit Kanik
September 2001 Minister of Defence Josef Stank
February 2001 Minister of Privatisation Maria Machova

Bilateral relations

Towards the end of the 1990s, Estonia and Slovakia’s common foreign policy goals—to join the EU and NATO—provided a solid base for them to build up their relations. Co-operation between the nations at that time primarily dealt with the specific goal of joining those two international organisations. After the accession to the EU and NATO, the central point of their relations has shifted to co-operation done in those organisations, as well as in other international organisations.

In April 2012 Foreign Minister Urmas Paet participated in the international Globesec security and foreign policy forum held in Bratislava, within the framework of which he also met with his Slovakian colleague Miroslav Lajcak.

Consultations between the foreign ministries are held regularly on the topics of consular matters and European Union issues.

In the current Riigikogu there is an Estonia-Slovakia parliamentary group led by Kalle Palling. It has 8 members.

Agreements

  • Agreement on the Abolishment of Visa Requirements (came into force 01.12.1994);
  • Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Issues (came into force 22.09.2000);
  • Agreement on International Road Transport of Passengers and Goods (came into force 18.07.2001);
  • Framework Agreement for Defence Co-operation (between the Ministries for Defence), 2001;
  • Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation (came into force 29.03.2006);
  • Agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information (came into force 01.01.2005).

Economic relations

TRADE

In 2014 Slovakia ranked as Estonia's 26th trade partner with a total trade turnover of 111,1 million euros (0,4 of the whole trade turnover). Export to Slovakia totalled 33,5 million euros in value and imports 77,6 million euros, with a negative balance of 44,1 million euros.
 

In the first quartel of 2015 Slovakia ranked as Estonia's 29th trade partner with a total turnover of 19,6 million euros (0,3% of the whole trade turnover). Export totalled 5,6 million euros in value and imports totalled 14 million euros, with a negative balance of 8,4 million euros.

Estonia-Slovakia trade 2010-(the first 6 months of) 2015 (million euros)

Year Export Import Turnover Balance
2010 14.8 17.8 32.6 -3.0
2011 19.7 49.7 69.4 -29.9
2012 57.0 62.4 119.4 -5,3
2013 51.3 62.0 113.3 -10.8
2014 33.5 77.5 111.0 -44.0
2015 (first 6 months) 7.4 23.2 30.6 -15.8

 

Major export articles to Slovakia in 2014:

  • Fabric and textile products - 36.2%
  • Wood and wood products – 18.7%
  • Metals and metal products - 8.9%

Major import articles to Slovakia in 2014:

  • Transport vehicles – 37.3%
  • Machinery and equipment – 36.5%
  • Chemical products – 8.8%

Major export articles in the first five months of 2014 were fabrics and textile products (49.04%), wood and wooden products (15.4%), animal products (11.15%) and metal products (3.54%).

Major import articles during the same time period of 2014 were machinery and related equipment (36.4%), transport vehicles (33.62%), chemical products (12,9%) and metal products (4.07%).

As of June 2015, the main articles of export were wood and wooden products 26.8%; metals and metal products 23.3%; plastic and plastic products and rubber and rubber products 8.5%. The main articles of imports were transport vehicles 49.9%; machinery and equipment 35.9% and metal and metal products 4.2%.

All economic figures originate from the Statistical Office of Estonia

INVESTMENTS

According to Bank of Estonia data, at 23 March 2014 Estonia’s direct investment position in Slovakia was 11.4 million euros. The primary sectors for investments were wholesale and retail trade; financial and insurance activity; real estate activity; and the professional, research and technical sector.

Slovakian direct investments in Estonia at 31.03.2014 totalled 3.4 million euros. Investments were made in the following sectors: wholesale and retail trade; real estate activity; and professional, research and technical activity. .

As of March 2013 there were 6 enterprises functioning with Slovakian capital in Estonia.

TOURISM

Tourism between Estonia and Slovakia began to develop more rapidly after both countries joined the EU, but the potential for development has certainly not been depleted. Between 2005 and 2009, about 1 000 Slovakian tourists a year were housed in Estonian accommodation establishments (most of them in Tallinn).

In 2013 2148 and in 2014 2178 Slovakian tourists were housed in Estonia. In the first quartel of 2015 357 Slovakian tourists were accomodated in Estonia. Most popular places were Tallinn, Tartu county, and Lääne-Viru county.

Among Estonian tourists, the most popular are High Tatras ski resorts.

Cultural Relations

Slovakian literature has been introduced to the Estonian public by the translations of Leo Metsar and Aleksander Raid published in the 1970s. Leo Metsar has translated the works of the famous Slovakian writer Vojtech Zamarovský.

In September 2014 Estonian Embassy attended to the Spectacular Slovakia Travel Guide opening event, where ambassador delivered a presentation "Estonia - the land of sea and sky, new travel destination for Slovaks".

In March 2015 Slovakian chldren's drawing exhibition entitled "Human Rights through Children's Eyes" was held in the Central Library of Tallinn. In March 2015 also a contest was announced for two months stay in Košice (Slovakia), which is aimed at artists by creative educational program of Tallinn's Kultuurikatel and K.A.I.R. - Koiše's Artist in Residence.

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