Foreign Minister Stubb: Russia fails to follow through on agreements
Finland and Russia have no mutual political problems, but the greatest concern for Finland results from the implementation of agreements, said Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party) on Thursday, when the government passed a Government Resolution on the first-ever Russia Action Plan.
”When it comes to truck queues, timber duties, land acquisitions, or visas, we can always agree on the issues themselves, but as for the implementation, there is a great discrepancy between talk and action in Russia”, Stubb argues.
According to Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre), the purpose of the Russia Action Plan is to increase civil servants’ and Finnish citizens’ expertise in Russian affairs.
At the same time, the Action Plan is a forward-looking and comprehensive report, giving Finland’s assessment of the current cooperation between Finland and Russia, as well as Finland’s goals.
The Russia Action Plan has been prepared under the leadership of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and in consultation with representatives of the ministries, business and industry, and the research community.
The Action Plan states frankly that corruption is a problem in Russia and that the human rights practices in the country are insufficient.
On Thursday Vanhanen did not list any "uncomplicated issues" in the relations between the two countries. However, there is a good connection between the heads of the two states.
Finland’s Russia Action Plan was appropriately released just prior to the two-day visit of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to Finland on Monday.
Prime Minister Vanhanen will not himself be able to meet Medvedev next week, as he will make an official visit to China on April 18th to 22nd.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Government wants better coordination of relations with Russia (16.4.2009)
President Medvedev to make public appearance in Helsinki on Monday (16.4.2009)
Researcher: Russian empire will return, but will not be a threat to neighbours (6.3.2009)
Stubb: Europe and USA should move forward together in relations with Russia (5.3.2009)
Stubb to Lavrov: “Finland is not neutral” (10.11.2008)
Government Communications Unit press release 7.4.2009: Prime Minister Vanhanen to make an official visit to China
Ministry for Foreign Affairs press release 16.4.2009: The Government´s Russia Action Plan was approved