Government Communications Department
Press release 401/2015
On Friday 7 August, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the situation in Ukraine.
Finland follows continued violence in eastern Ukraine with great concern. In violation of the Minsk agreements, heavy artillery is used and there are repeated reports of casualties. Also OSCE observers are facing security threats. Finland appeals to those responsible for ceasefire violations to respect the Minsk agreements and guarantee the safety of observers. Russia, too, has a central role in ending hostilities and advancing in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also stated that possibilities to clarify exemption provisions related to EU travel restrictions for the purposes of inter-parliamentary cooperation, OSCE in particular, will be explored.
The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed UN peacekeeping. With more demanding requirements, peacekeeping is faced with new challenges. Finland is currently Europe’s sixth largest country in terms of participation in UN peacekeeping. In operations, Finland’s major participation is in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in which Finland continues as the lead nation of the Finnish-Irish battalion until the end of 2016 with approximately 350 soldiers.
Inquiries: Jaana Teckenberg, Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 350 881 (situation in Ukraine), Päivi Kaukoranta, Director General of the Legal Service, tel. +358 295 351 144 (travel restrictions), and Timo Kantola, Deputy Director General, tel. +358 295 351 477 (peacekeeping), Ministry for Foreign Affairs