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Home NATIONALFinland unlikely to join NATO now: Stubb
Tue, 01 Jul, 2014 12:33:26 AM
PM meets Estonian counterpart in Tallinn
Roivas sees more sanctions against Russia, if policy unchanged
FTimes-Xinhua-STT Report, July 1
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb (L) and his Estonian counterpart Taavi Roivas at press conference in Tallinn, Estonia on Monday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb said on Monday his country would probably not apply for NATO membership during his 10-month government, reported news agency Xinhua from Tallinn quoting Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).
Stubb in his first foreign visit after taking office as the head of government went to Estonia on Monday to meet Estonian leaders.
Estonia’s NATO membership has increased security in the Baltic Sea region, but Finland will probably not join the alliance during his government, Stubb told a press conference hosted jointly with his Estonian counterpart Taavi Roivas.
Roivas believes imposing additional sanctions against Russia is the only option, if Russia does not change its policy on Ukraine, reported news agency STT.
According to the Estonian prime minister, additional sanctions may also affect Finland and Estonia, which are important trading partners of Russia.
Roivas stressed that independence does not have an economic cost.
The Finnish premier, however, does not believe that third-stage sanctions will be imposed against Russia.
Third-stage sanctions, according to Stubb, would mean restricting Russia’s exports and imports.
It is likely that the European Union foreign ministers will meet, if Monday’s deadline is not met, pointed out Stubb.
Stubb believes the EU foreign ministers would continue with the second stage of sanctions that encompasses travel restrictions and assets freeze.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb (L) met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in Tallinn on Monday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
EU leaders from a summit in Brussels on Friday gave Russia three days to change its policy on Ukraine or face more sanctions.
Among the conditions, Russia has to respect ceasefire in eastern Ukraine and free the hostages held.
Finland and Estonia are also keen to accelerate the design of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) Baltic connector terminal.
Currently, the aim is to begin the pipeline construction in 2019.
In May, it was reported that negotiations between Finland’s Gasum and Estonia’s Alexala had progressed to the extent that the two developers were ready to demonstrate their planned proposal before the EU Commission in the beginning of June.
But, the model presented by Gasum and Alexala presented before the EU Commission was deemed not good enough.
The two leaders discussed their countries’ bilateral ties and the current issues of the European Union as well as regional security and energy co-operation, according to the Estonian official sources, reported Xinhua.
The two prime ministers also expressed that both countries should continue with the Baltic connector gas pipeline, saying they hope the EU Commission will also signal its support for the project. 
Stubb also met with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, reported STT.
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