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Home NATIONALFinding peaceful solution for Ukraine crisis crucial: Niinistö
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Fri, 02 Jan, 2015 12:00:11 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, Jan 2

President Sauli Niinistö presented his New Year's message on Thursday, and the security related to neighboring Russia seemed to be the top issue.

Niinistö expressed his deep concern on the Ukraine crisis. "The increased tensions are reflected in Finland's neighboring areas, even though we are not under threat," said Niinistö.

     "It is vital to find a peaceful solution in Ukraine, and it is equally vital to interrupt the vicious circle of confrontation," he underlined.

     He said that Russia has always been and will always be Finland's neighbor. Finland will continue to maintain close dialogue with Russia, and will actively seek ways of finding a solution for the Ukraine crisis.

    Niinistö reaffirmed that Finland's foreign and security policy safeguards the continued existence of Finland and the liberty, security and wellbeing of all Finns.

     As Finland is one of the few European countries which continued to see military conflict as a potential threat even after the end of the Cold War, the country maintained an appropriate defense capacity.

    Niinistö also emphasized Finland's relationship with the EU. He said, "membership of the EU is an important security solution for Finland."

     He stressed the importance of NATO partnership and defense cooperation with neighboring Sweden as well.

     Apart from security, other issues the president focused on included economy and the environment.

     Finland has been suffering a prolonged economic recession due to the internal structural problems.

     As a close neighbor of Russia, Finland's economy has been hard hit by sanctions and countermeasures, as well as devaluation of Russian ruble, caused by the Ukraine crisis.

Niinistö said "the foundation of our economy is eroding," and "it is time for an open and thorough renovation."

     The president called on all decision-makers to "be courageous to face the painful reforms," claiming that it is now time for action.

     On the issue of environment, Niinistö pointed out that combating climate change and the economy seem to interact with each other.

     "We are involved in combating climate change, but we are also developing business potential in doing so. Both are worth investing in," said Niinistö.

 
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