Current issues


Prime Minister Stubb: Additional EU sanctions on Russia unavoidable in this situation

Authorised by the European Council, the EU Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) has agreed on new restrictive measures against Russia. The measures relate to the four sectors decided on by the EU Foreign Ministers in their Council meeting last week.

"The crisis in eastern Ukraine has not de-escalated despite our efforts to find a negotiated solution. The situation left the EU countries with no other option than to reinforce the sanctions. In its conclusions at the end of June, the European Council called on Russia to take action to stabilise the situation in Ukraine but Russia has failed to promote positive developments in the area. It is regrettable, that the Union must introduce additional restrictive measures against Russia but it was now inevitable. We will naturally continue active efforts to exert influence both on the EU level and through bilateral discussions to resolve the crisis", Prime Minister Stubb said.



Member of Parliament Mari Kiviniemi appointed OECD Deputy Secretary-General

By decision of the OECD Council, Member of Parliament Mari Kiviniemi was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the organization for a term of two years on 25 July.

Kiviniemi is the first Finn to be named Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), based in Paris, during Finland's 45-year membership of the organization. "This appointment indicates that Finland has good candidates to offer for a diverse range of international tasks for which competition is fierce and candidates from the smallest countries often find it difficult to be elected", Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja states.



Prime Minister Stubb and Prime Minister Medvedev discussed the situation in Ukraine

Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and the Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev spoke on the phone on Thursday, 24 July. In the call initiated by the Finnish side, the Prime Ministers had an open and good discussion about the situation in Ukraine after the downing of the Malaysian airliner, as well as the EU's reactions to the crash.

The Prime Ministers agreed the downing of the aircraft had been a great tragedy, and its thorough investigation was now absolutely necessary. Both expressed their condolences for the crash. The Prime Ministers agreed the downing of the airliner had turned a local conflict into a European one.



Two Finnish aid workers were killed today in Herat, Western Afghanistan

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been in contact with the family and employer of the deceased, and has expressed condolences.

The Finns were working for a project of the International Assistance Mission. The organization carries out cooperation with Finnish NGOs in Afghanistan.