President of the Republic and Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed situation in Ukraine

Government Communications Department
Press release 326/2014

On Friday 22 August, the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the current situation in Ukraine in the light of the President’s visit to Russia and Ukraine on 15–16 August.

The Committee discussed the efforts taken by the international community to establish negotiations between the parties. Finland is committed to promoting these processes.

The aim of the crisis resolution efforts is to open the door to political negotiations, ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance under the supervision of the International Red Cross (IRC) and reach agreement on a ceasefire. It is essential to build mutual trust and prevent further escalation of the crisis. Russia must assure that military assets will not pass across the border to eastern Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine must make progress in its reforms. The conduct of parliamentary elections is important to strengthen the legitimacy of the political system. Also in this regard, the international community must continue its support to Ukraine. Finland is prepared to increase humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.

The Committee also discussed the NATO Summit which will take place in Wales, Great Britain, on 4–5 September 2014. The NATO partnership countries have also been invited to the Summit. The Finnish delegation will be led by President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö.

Finland will participate in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) meeting organised as part of the NATO Summit. The NATO-led ISAF crisis management operation in Afghanistan will be brought to a conclusion by the end of 2014. The meeting in Wales is to discuss the possibilities of supporting Afghanistan with a Resolute Support mission which is planned for training, advising and assisting purposes. Finland is preparing to participate in the operation.

The Summit is also to discuss NATO’s partnership policy and its development after the completion of the ISAF operation. Together with Sweden, Finland has actively contributed to the shaping of the policy. Finland will participate in meetings focusing on partnership cooperation held in conjunction with the Summit.

The Committee also discussed the alarming deterioration of the security situation in Iraq.

Inquiries: Terhi Hakala, Director-General, tel. +358 295 351 300, Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Ukraine); Kirsti Kauppi, Director-General, tel. +358 295 351 561, Ministry for Foreign Affairs; Otto Saxén, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 140 314, Ministry of Defence (NATO Summit)