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Friday, 17 August, 2018
Home NATIONALRussia remains Finland´s key trade partner
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Fri, 09 Dec, 2016 11:13:28 PM
Medvedev visits Finland
FTimes Report, Dec 9

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Friday said that Russia is an important trade partner of Finland despite dropping the business between the neighbouring countries significantly.

He made this observation at a meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev who visited Oulu in Finland on Friday, said a government press release.

Sipilä, however, reiterated Finland’s earlier positions on Ukraine and Syria saying that his country gives full support to the European Union’s common sanctions and unity.

The implementation of the Minsk agreement is the first condition for lifting the EU’s sanctions on Russia.

“We are very concerned by increased fighting in East Ukraine. As regards Syria, Finland has repeatedly expressed its deep concern over the continuous escalation of the military situation. We have strongly condemned the military action against civilians and civilian targets by the Assad regime and its supporters,” said Sipilä.

The meeting of the premiers focused on the countries’ bilateral relations, including matters related to trade and commerce and the economy.

The relations between the EU and Russia and other regional and international issues, such as the situation in Ukraine and Syria, were also discussed during the meeting. This was the prime ministers’ second bilateral meeting.

“I met my colleague Prime Minister Medvedev in St Petersburg in January. In that meeting we noted that, as neighbouring countries, it is important that we maintain dialogue on bilateral and international issues that are of importance to our two countries. I am delighted that our second meeting took place in my home region, Oulu,” said Sipilä.

The future of the Finland House in St Petersburg was also resolved over the premiers’ meeting. Finland will buy from Russia the premises of the Finland House which is to provide the Finnish Institute in Saint Petersburg, the Finnish school, and a wide range of actors representing Finnish businesses and regions a ‘home base’ and guarantee the future of their activities in in St Petersburg.

The Prime Ministers also discussed environmental and Arctic issues. Finland will assume the chairmanship of the Arctic Council next May.

“It is important that Arctic issues remain a forum of constructive international dialogue,” said Sipilä.

Also related to Arctic issues, Finland has recently commissioned an expert report on the North-East Passage data cable and the country is currently discussing the project with several key partner countries.

“The North-East Passage cable project has promising prospects and, if implemented, it would provide the fastest data connection between Europe and Asia. For Finland, it is important that the project be broad-based and international, and that it be carried out on a commercial basis,” said Sipilä.

The Premiers also took note of the good meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation organised in Moscow in November – this was the Commission’s first meeting in three years, the press release added.

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