Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) met with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, in Oulu on 9 December, 2016.
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) met with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, in Oulu on 9 December, 2016.

Finland remains fully committed to the unity and sanctions policy of the European Union, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) asserted in his meeting with Dmitry Medvedev, the Prime Minister of Russia, in Oulu on Friday.

Sipilä reiterated the position of Finland on the situations in Syria and Ukraine, reminding his colleague that the first condition for lifting the economic sanctions against Russia is the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.

“We are very concerned by increased fighting in East Ukraine,” he said according to a press release from the Finnish Government.

Finland, he added, has repeatedly expressed its deep concern over the continuous escalation of the military situation in Syria and firmly condemned the military action taken against civilian targets by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its supporters.

Russia remains an important trading partner for Finland in spite of a sharp drop in trade between the two countries over the past couple of years, reminded Sipilä. “[A]s neighbouring countries, it is important that we maintain dialogue on bilateral and international issues that are of importance to our two countries,” he said.

Sipilä and Medvedev also discussed the ongoing plan to build a high-speed underwater data connection along the North-east Passage.

“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.

Finland recently commissioned an expert report on the feasibility of the data cable project and is currently discussing it with numerous partner countries, according to the press release.

The heads of state also agreed on the fate of the Finland House in St. Petersburg, with Finland agreeing to acquire the premises from Russia to ensure the Finnish Institute, the Finnish school and a wide range of industrial and regional stakeholders are able to continue their activities in St. Petersburg, the press release indicates.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi