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Home NATIONALFinland not responsible for delayed imposition of anti-Russia sanctions
Wed, 10 Sep, 2014 12:01:36 AM
FTimes-STT Report, Sept 10
President Sauli Niinistö. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb on Tuesday said Finland is not responsible for the delay in new sanctions taking effect against Russia.
According to the premier, the new sanctions will take effect this week. But, he said, he could not give the exact time of their imposition, which will depend on how the situation in eastern Ukraine develops.
Stubb said Finland is considered one of the 5-10 countries which deem the timetable of the new sanctions challenging or which doubt whether imposing the sanctions at this moment is acceptable.
Stubb dismissed the rumour that Finland was the only country obstructing sanctions taking effect. According to the prime minister, the reputation of Finland has not been harmed even though it has widely been reported in the international media that Finland was obstructing the new sanctions from taking effect.
The premier also brushed off reports that there was an internal disagreement within the government between him and Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja on the way forward with regard to the sanctions.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb talked to journalists on sanctions against Russia on Tuesday 9 September 2014. Photo – Lehtikuva.
Stubb said both of them were in agreement on the sanctions and both held the view that the timetable for imposition of new sanctions is challenging.
The difference in the government on the issue became apparent on Tuesday when Tuomioja expressed his dissatisfaction in the Cabinet Committee meeting on European Union Affairs. The minster is reported to have submitted a written note suggesting that Finland should and if necessary single-handedly oppose the new sanctions from taking effect.
Meanwhile President Sauli Niinistö also concurred with the premier that the new sanctions on Russia have not dented the country’s reputation.
Speaking in Ivalo, the president told the national broadcaster YLE that it was specifically discussed in the country whether immediate implementation of the sanctions would not affect progress of the ceasefire.
Niinistö said the new sanctions did not come as a surprise and will not affect the country immediately.
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