Embassy of the U.S., Tallinn
2010 set a new benchmark for the relationship between the United States and Estonia. Our engagements covered the spectrum from inter-governmental meetings at the highest levels and military cooperation at an intense level, to law enforcement coordination and consistent diplomatic interaction.
April saw two of the top level engagements between our nations; despite an ash cloud, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was able to visit Estonia and meet with Prime Minister Ansip, Foreign Minister Paet and President Ilves, along with all her NATO colleagues. In April, President Ilves was also able to meet with President Obama and other senior European heads of state. Throughout the remainder of the year several Estonian cabinet ministers visited the United States for meetings, including the Minister of Defense, the Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Social Affairs.
2010 was also emblematic of the strong military partnership between our nations. The year was host to BALTOPS 2010-the largest engagement of U.S. and Estonian forces since Estonia joined NATO, which saw the participation of three U.S. Navy ships and over 600 U.S. Marines. During the exercise a battalion of U.S. Marines also trained at the Estonian Central Training Area with the Scouts Battalion, and over 100 Marines from the USS Gunston Hall conducted an amphibious landing at Loksa Bay alongside an Estonian Defense League unit. In total, the year saw five U.S. Navy ship visits. The U.S. also contributed about $10 million in military assistance to Estonia's defense, mostly mortars and Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), in addition to over $2 million dollars in hardware and training support for the Estonian Explosives Ordinance (EOD) Center. Additionally, the Secretary of the Navy, the Department of Defense's Undersecretary for Policy, and nearly a dozen General Officers visited Estonia over the last twelve months.
Our nations' joint efforts in law enforcement were substantially boosted this last year as well. For the first time in history, an FBI agent was imbedded with the Estonian National Criminal Police, working alongside local investigators to counter cross-border criminal activity. U.S. government law enforcement officials were also able to host five training seminars for their Estonian counterparts. The U.S. Secret Service also began operations in our Embassy.
Joint projects, efforts and exchanges between our nations grew. Estonians and Americans from a great variety of professional disciplines, as well as young people from throughout Estonia visited on each side of the Atlantic. Trade and business relationships intensified and promise to bring more investments from each of our countries to the other in the year ahead. Diplomacy between our nations is worked intensively every day and in another first, an Estonian diplomat will soon join the U.S. State Department for a year as a full member of the U.S. diplomatic family.
Retrospective: The U.S. and Estonia in 2010