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Tuesday, 26 October, 2021
Home NATIONALPeace in Ukraine mostly depends on Russia
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Sun, 15 Feb, 2015 12:07:09 AM
I would have resigned, if Finland had voted against EU membership: Ahtisaari
Former president underlines respects by international players
FTimes –STT Report, Feb 15
 
former President Martti Ahtisaari in an interview with national broadcaster YLE in its Ykkösaamu (morning breakfast programme) on Saturday. Photo – Lehtikuva.
A lasting cease fire in Ukraine is largely dependent on the attitudes of Russia, said former president Martti Ahtisaari.
 
Speaking in an interview with national broadcaster YLE in its Ykkösaamu (morning breakfast programme) on Saturday, the former president said that the issue of Crimea region was not discussed at all in the Minsk ceasefire agreement.
 
According to Ahtisaari, the annexation of the peninsula would be a tacit acceptance by the international community.
 
The former president said that it cannot be ruled out that Russia had unlawfully annexed a sovereign part of Ukraine. He said that the priority is to bring an end to the killing and fighting.
 
Ahtisaari believes that there is desire on the part of Russia to find a solution since the protracted crisis is also causing economic problems in Russia due to factors such as economic sanctions.
 
The former president is adamant that peace in Ukraine is not possible without the will from the side of Russia.
 
Ahtisaari pointed out that Russia is a party of the dispute.
 
"It is clear that arms and even some fighters have come from the Russian side," said Ahtisaari adding that probably the operation is led from Moscow.
 
Photo – Lehtikuva.
The, former president and winner of the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, has underlined the need for keeping communications open on the international arena and avoiding insulting other sides, reported news agency Xinhua.
 
In an interview with Finnish national broadcaster Yle, Ahtisaari mentioned the problems arisen from the French cartoons and said that he could not defend those who make such cartoons with a commercial purpose, the Xinhua report added.
 
Replying to another question, the former President revealed that he would have resigned from presidency, if the country voted against joining the European Union.
 
He said that he would have stepped down in case of his failure to convince the Finns.
 
"I told my wife that if I cannot convince the Finns that we should join the EU, and Finland votes against the membership then I would resign," said Ahtisaari.
 
According to Ahtisaari, it was important that Finland become a proper member of the EU in order to be a serious actor.
 
The referendum on the EU membership was organised in October 1994.
 
The majority 56.9 per cent voted in favour of joining the EU and 43.1 per cent had cast votes against the move.
 
The supporters of Finland joining justified membership on security and economic benefits. On the other hand, those against EU membership argued that membership would significantly limit the right of the country to determine its own affairs.
 
Finland together with Sweden and Austria became members of the community in the beginning of 1995.
 
 
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