Estonia and Greece: 100 Years of Diplomatic Relations

Greece recognised the Republic of Estonia de jure on 19 May 1922, which established official diplomatic relations.

For the anniversary year, we have compiled a timeline of Estonian–Greece relations. It is a chronological gallery of historical photographs, documents, and texts, which provides an overview of the important moments of the relations between the two countries over 100 years.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the collection of facts, photos, and documents!

To see the photo titles, move your cursor to the photo.

Happy time travelling!

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Embassy of the Republic of Estonia in Athens

24 February 1918
18 January 1922
The Government of the Republic of Estonia appointed Aleksander Hellat to represent Estonia in Greece Aleksander Hellat. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aleksander Hellat. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Alexander Hellat resided in Warsaw and served until November 1922, when he was appointed the minister of foreign affairs.
19 May 1922
Greece recognised the Republic of Estonia de jure Letter from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Baltatzis to the Estonian minister of foreign affairs. Photo: National Archives Letter from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Baltatzis to the Estonian minister of foreign affairs. Photo: National Archives
Letter from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Baltatzis to the Estonian minister of foreign affairs. Photo: National Archives

Letter from the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Baltatzis to the Estonian minister of foreign affairs.
Photo: National Archives

1922
Jüri Parik became the honorary consul general of Greece in Estonia Jüri Parik. Photo: National Archives Jüri Parik. Photo: National Archives
The magnate Jüri Parik was in office until his death in 1929.

From 1929 to 1940, industrialist Oskar Kerson was the honorary consul general of Greece in Estonia.

Oskar Kerson. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Oskar Kerson. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

4 January 1927
A goods and shipping agreement was signed between Estonia and Greece First and last page of the goods and shipping agreement. Photo: National Archives First and last page of the goods and shipping agreement. Photo: National Archives
First and last page of the goods and shipping agreement. Photo: National Archives

First and last page of the goods and shipping agreement.
Photo: National Archives

10 May 1927
Ernst Veberman was appointed honorary consul general of Estonia in Greece Ernst Constantin Veberman. Photo: National Archives Ernst Constantin Veberman. Photo: National Archives
Consular patent of Ernst Veberman to Thessaloniki. Photo: National Archives

Consular patent of Ernst Veberman to Thessaloniki. Photo: National Archives

17 April 1929
Augustin Constantin Papadatos was appointed honorary consul of Estonia in Athens Application of Augustin Papadatos, candidate for honorary consul. Photo: National Archives Application of Augustin Papadatos, candidate for honorary consul. Photo: National Archives
Industrialist Augustin Papadatos was in office until 1940.
25 November 1937
A payment agreement was signed between Estonia and Greece First and last page of the payment agreement. Photo: National Archivesvusarhiiv First and last page of the payment agreement. Photo: National Archives
First and last page of the payment agreement. Photo: National Archives

First and last page of the payment agreement. Photo: National Archives

18 December 1937
21 June 1940
A coup d’état was carried out in Estonia with the support of the Red Army First sitting of the Chamber of Deputies (Riigivolikogu) elected under the conditions of occupation on 21 July. At the meeting on next day, it was decided to join the Soviet Union. Photo: Nädal Pildis, 1940. First sitting of the Chamber of Deputies (Riigivolikogu) elected under the conditions of occupation on 21 July. At the meeting on next day, it was decided to join the Soviet Union. Photo: Nädal Pildis, 1940.
The incorporation of the Republic of Estonia into the Soviet Union began. The government of the Estonian SSR ordered the liquidation of all Estonian embassies, consulates, and honorary consulates and the transfer of their assets to the local offices of the USSR.
20 August 1991
The Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia adopted a resolution on Estonia’s national independence. The Republic of Estonia was restored on the basis of legal continuity
2 October 1991
Diplomatic relations were restored between the Republic of Estonia and the Hellenic Republic Joint Declaration of Estonia and Greece on the Restoration of Diplomatic Relations. Joint Declaration of Estonia and Greece on the Restoration of Diplomatic Relations.
August 1992
Estonian basketball player Tiit Sokk, an Olympic winner, joined the Panathinaikos basketball club in Athens Greek basketball star Nikos Galis and Tiit Sokk playing for Panathinaikos. Photo: Pinterest Greek basketball star Nikos Galis and Tiit Sokk playing for Panathinaikos. Photo: Pinterest
Aivar Kuusmaa also joined the club in 1993 and they played together there until 1996.
1 July 1993
The first Greek ambassador to Estonia, Stello Valsamas-Rhallis, presented his credentials to President Lennart Meri Ambassador Stello Valsamas-Rhallis in front of the honour guard in Kadriorg. On the left, Tiina Nirk, Deputy Chief of Protocol. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Stello Valsamas-Rhallis in front of the honour guard in Kadriorg. On the left, Tiina Nirk, Deputy Chief of Protocol. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ambassador Valsamas-Rhallis resided in Helsinki.
Ambassador Stello Valsamas-Rhallis and President Lennart Meri after the presentation of the credentials at Kadriorg Palace. On the right, Minister of Foreign Affairs Trivimi Velliste. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ambassador Stello Valsamas-Rhallis and President Lennart Meri after the presentation of the credentials at Kadriorg Palace. On the right, Minister of Foreign Affairs Trivimi Velliste. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

The next Greek ambassadors to Estonia were:

  • Athanassios A. Theodoracopoulos (1996–2000, resided in Helsinki)
  • Basil Ch. Patsikakis (2000–2001, resided in Helsinki)
  • Lyssandros Migliaressis-Phocas (2002–2004, resided in Helsinki)
  • Christos Karapanos (2005–2008, resided in Tallinn)
  • Polydore Kokonas (2008–2012)
  • Constantine Catsambis (2013–2016)
  • Maria Karnoutsou (2016–2019)
  • Emmanouil Apostolakis (2019– )
April 1997
Jüri Arusoo, the first charge d’affaires ad interim of Estonia in Greece, started working in Athens Charge d’affaires ad interim Jüri Arusoo working at Hotel Grande Bretagne. Photo: Estonian Embassy in Athens Charge d’affaires ad interim Jüri Arusoo working at Hotel Grande Bretagne. Photo: Estonian Embassy in Athens
The embassy was located in Hotel Grande Bretagne for the first few months, in an apartment office from the summer of 1997, and on the 22nd floor of Athens Tower on Mesogeion Avenue in 2003.
23–29 May 1999
State visit of President Lennart Meri to the Hellenic Republic Presidents Constantinos Stephanopoulos and Lennart Meri met at the Greek Presidential Mansion. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Presidents Constantinos Stephanopoulos and Lennart Meri met at the Greek Presidential Mansion. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
President Lennart Meri met with the President of Greece Constantinos Stephanopoulos, the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, the Prime Minister of Greece Costas Simitis, and the Rector of the University of Athens Constantinos Dimopoulos. He also gave a lecture at the University of Athens. President Meri also met with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, opened a Greek–Estonian business seminar, opened an honorary consulate in Piraeus, and visited the island of Crete.
11–13 October 2000
State visit of the President of Greece Konstantinos Stephanopoulos to Estonia Presidents Lennart Meri and Konstantinos Stephanopoulos in front of the honour guard in Kadriorg. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Presidents Lennart Meri and Konstantinos Stephanopoulos in front of the honour guard in Kadriorg. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
President Stephanopoulos met with President Lennart Meri and the Metropolitan Stephanos of Tallinn and All Estonia, the Speaker of the Riigikogu Toomas Savi and representatives of the factions of the Riigikogu, Prime Minister Mart Laar, and the rectors of Estonian universities. He also visited the Tallinn Town Hall and Muuga Harbour.
18 April 2001
Andres Unga, the first Estonian Ambassador to Greece, presented his credentials to President Konstantinos Stephanopoulos Andres Unga, the first Estonian Ambassador to Greece. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andres Unga, the first Estonian Ambassador to Greece. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ambassador Andres Unga resided in Tallinn and in Athens since 2003.

The next Estonian ambassadors to Greece were:

  • Peep Jahilo (2007–2009)
  • Andres Talvik (2009–2013)
  • Margus Rava (2013–2017)
  • Priit Pallum (2018–2021)
  • Karin Rannu (2022– )
February 2005
Greece opened an embassy in Tallinn Photo: Coat of arms of the Greek Embassy Photo: Coat of arms of the Greek Embassy
The embassy was located at Pärnu maantee 12. Now, it is located at Harju 6.
1 February 2013
Working visit of the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitrios Avramopoulos to Estonia Ministers of Foreign Affairs Dimitrios Avramopoulos and Urmas Paet met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministers of Foreign Affairs Dimitrios Avramopoulos and Urmas Paet met at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photograph: Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet, Speaker of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson.
November 2014
Estonian experimental feature film In the Crosswind won an award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival for outstanding creative achievement Photo: Frame from the movie In the Crosswind Photo: Frame from the movie In the Crosswind
16–18 May 2018
State visit of President Kersti Kaljulaid to Greece Presidents Prokópis Pavlópoulos and Kersti Kaljulaid in front of the honour guard. Photo: Office of the President of the Republic Presidents Prokópis Pavlópoulos and Kersti Kaljulaid in front of the honour guard. Photo: Office of the President of the Republic
President Kaljulaid met with Greek President Prokópis Pavlópoulos, Prime Minister Aléxis Tsipras, and President of the Hellenic Parliament Nikos Voutsis. Kaljulaid also visited the Frontex office in Greece and met with local representatives of the digital sector.
16 October 2019
Greek Ambassador to Estonia Emmanouil Apostolakis presents his credentials to President Kersti Kaljulaid Suursaadik Emmanouil Apostolakis üle andmas volikirja president Kersti Kaljulaidile. Foto: Presidendi Kantselei Suursaadik Emmanouil Apostolakis üle andmas volikirja president Kersti Kaljulaidile. Foto: Presidendi Kantselei
Ambassador Emmanouil Apostolakis presenting his credentials to President Kersti Kaljulaid. Photo: Office of the President of the Republic
March 2020
Estonia and Greece started co-operation in guarding the external borders of the European Union Terje Homutov Giannikou, Secretary of the Estonian Embassy in Athens, posing against the background of a speedboat of the Estonian Border Guard Administration. Photo: Estonian Embassy in Athens Terje Homutov Giannikou, Secretary of the Estonian Embassy in Athens, posing against the background of a speedboat of the Estonian Border Guard Administration. Photo: Estonian Embassy in Athens
In the years 2020–2022, several Estonian border guard teams helped secure the Greek sea border.
10 May 2022
Estonian Ambassador to Greece Karin Rannu presents her credentials to President Katerina Sakellaropoulou Ambassador Karin Rannu and President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Photo: Office of the President of Greece Ambassador Karin Rannu and President of Greece Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Photo: Office of the President of Greece