Finland Times

Thursday, 29 October, 2020
Home NATIONALLack of progress in int’l situation lamented
Wed, 24 Aug, 2016 12:05:53 AM
President addresses ambassadors’ conference
FTimes - STT Report, Aug 24

President Sauli Niinistö on Tuesday took up the issue of recent developments in Finland’s international environment while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the conference of Finnish ambassadors in Helsinki.

No progress has been made, in fact, the situation has worsened, the president said, pointing at the continuation of civil war in Syria and the conflict in Ukraine.

The escalation of conflict in Ukraine, according to Niinistö, has shown that matters could take unexpected turn for the worse.

The president said the rapid reestablishment of relations between Turkey and Russia represents a major geopolitical change.

“While it does not necessarily amount to a stable alliance, even a tactical rapprochement poses new challenges to western actors,” said Niinistö.

He said the concerns about the recent developments in Turkey are legitimate. “It would not be in our interests for Turkey to spurn democracy and its EU partnership.”

Stressing the importance of social solidarity and security of the citizens, the president reiterated that national security is not based on weapons alone.

He said international comparisons found Finland to be a safe, peaceful, and developed country.

“We are often used to being modest and downplaying this by stating that surely we cannot be that good at anything. However, the rankings do tell us something,” said Niinistö.


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