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Home NATIONALFinnish-Russian relation on good standing again: Kanerva
Sat, 18 Jul, 2015 12:03:51 AM
FTimes-Xinhua Report, July 18

The President of Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE PA) Ilkka Kanerva said the relationship between Finland and Russia is again on good standing after a standoff following Finnish non-admittance of some Russian parliamentarians for the recent OSCE PA meeting in Helsinki.

     Kanerva spoke to the Finnish national broadcaster Yle after meeting the Speaker of the lower house of Russian Duma Sergei Naryskin in Moscow on Friday. Yle's correspondent in Moscow Marja Manninen said the meeting had taken place in a good spirit.

     Naryskin told Kanerva that Russia would continue its participation in the OSCE but said that the action taken by Finland had left "a sad stain" on the history of the organization.

     Kanerva reportedly did not apologize for the action of the Finnish government and said the entry was denied based on a joint decision by EU countries.

     Kanerva argued that the decision that the whole Russian delegation kept out of the OSCE meeting was taken by Moscow.

     Kanerva said that he would do his utmost to ensure that in the future all OSCE countries can take part in joint meetings, adding that he believed the situation will be normalized before the OSCE PA meeting in Ulan Bator later this year.

     Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Finnish President Sauli Niinisto reportedly talked via telephone on Wednesday on the bilateral relations, and a press release issued by Kremlin said Putin wants to maintain friendly relations with Finland despite the entry ban.

     Yle quoted the press release as saying that the two presidents were convinced that Finland and Russia will be able "to maintain good neighbourly relations through joint efforts."

     The atmosphere of the meeting between Kanerva and Naryskin and Putin's comments during the phone conversation have pushed aside speculation by Finnish commentators about any further repercussions on Finnish-Russian interaction by the entry problem.  

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