Despite criticism, Estonia to move forward with NY, SF consulate closures
While several organizations and members of the Estonian diaspora have denounced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' announced plans to close its New York and San Francisco consulates, the ministry is nonetheless moving forward with the closures, citing needed budget cuts.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made these decisions involving €1.2 million in cuts as a result of lengthy deliberation," Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna (Eesti 200) told ERR, adding that this involved both layoffs and reductions in services.
"We had a choice – whether to close an embassy or review consulates' operations," he continued. "We decided that the New York and San Francisco consulates will be closed, but the availability of consular services will not worsen."
Tsahkna doesn't believe consulates' closures will diminish the ministry's reputation.