Government Communications Department
Press release 306/2015
On Friday 12 June, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the situation in Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine will be discussed in the meeting of the President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 16 June in Moscow.
The tense situation in eastern Ukraine is of concern to Finland. Increased fighting undermines the already fragile ceasefire. Finland stresses the necessity of the full implementation of the Minsk agreements and the responsibility of all parties involved, including Russia. Work of the Trilateral Contact Group of the OSCE, and related subgroups, promoting the implementation of the agreements needs to continue.
The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed Finland’s participation in international crisis management, international exercises and rapid reaction forces. Approximately 500 Finnish soldiers currently participate in military crisis management, a large part of them in the UNIFIL operation in Lebanon. Finland is considering to extend its participation in the UNIFIL operation even after its scheduled end in May 2016. Finland will continue its participation in the UN mission MINUSMA in Mali. Finland’s participation in the UN-led UNMIL mission in Liberia will end by the end of 2015. Discussion on crisis management participation, including more detailed implementation of the guidelines included in the Government Programme, will continue in the beginning of autumn. Finland will continue to take part in international exercises and in rapid reaction forces on the basis of the same policy considerations and aims as before.
The Committee was also briefed on tightening of defence cooperation between Finland and Sweden.
Inquiries: Mikko Kinnunen, Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 351 820 and Terhi Hakala, Director-General, tel. + 358 295 351 300 (situation in Ukraine) Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Hannu Teittinen, Lieutenant Commander, Staff Officer, tel. +358 295 140 317 (crisis management) and Sami Nurmi, Lieutenant Commander, Staff Officer, tel. +358 295 140 336 (defence cooperation) Ministry of Defence.