On Tuesday 8 December, Estonia’s new ambassador to the Republic of Armenia Riina Kaljurand presented her credentials to President Armen Sarkissian in Yerevan. Ambassador Riina Kaljurand resides in Tbilisi.
In the conversation following the presentation ceremony, Ambassador Kaljurand and President Sarkissian noted the relations between the two countries were traditionally good. “Historically, Estonians and Armenians have many personal contacts and our societies have a mutual sympathy, which in turn opens up opportunities for substantive bilateral cooperation. In addition to high-level visits, contacts between officials and parliaments could be stepped up,” Ambassador Kaljurand said.
She added that Estonia and Armenia were interested in close cooperation in the field of information technology. “Like Estonia, Armenia is an ambitious e-state that has also adopted several e-state solutions that provide a good basis for further cooperation in digitalisation, artificial intelligence, startups and business circles in general,” Kaljurand said. She said there was potential for cooperation in education, in particular in e-learning, research cooperation and boosting ties between universities. President Sarkissian took an interest in Estonia’s experience with engaging expatriate communities in the development of the country.
“In addition to bilateral relations, we also touched upon the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Armenia (CEPA), which opens a new chapter for enacting various political reforms in Armenia. Armenia is interested in Estonia’s reform experience and Estonia remains ready to share its experience on building working democratic institutions and creating a cohesive society,” Ambassador Kaljurand said.
They also discussed the security situation in the Southern Caucasus and the world. Ambassador Kaljurand extended her condolences to President Sarkissian for the casualties related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Riina Kaljurand joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993. Between 2004 and 2007, she worked at the Ministry of Defence and then until 2018 at the International Centre for Defence and Security. From 2013 to 2018, Riina Kaljurand was the director of the international high-level Lennart Meri Conference, held in Estonia. In 2018, she returned to the foreign service and joined the Policy Planning Department at the Foreign Ministry. In 2019, Riina Kaljurand was awarded the Order of the White Star, 4th class. She has a master’s degree in political science from Stockholm University.