On Friday the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu met with their colleagues from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Eduskunta, the first Deputy Speaker of the Eduskunta Pekka Ravi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Erkki Tuomioja. At the meetings, the relations of the two countries with Russia and the regional security situation were discussed.
The Deputy Speaker of the Eduskunta Pekka Ravi acknowledged the close cooperation between the committees of the two parliaments. “In security policy we are more of one mind than ever before. In relation with Russia we have to be ready for difficulties,” the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu Marko Mihkelson said.
The Finns and the Estonians admitted that it is necessary to communicate with Russia and to keep diplomatic channels, but our values must not be betrayed – in this regard we must remain true to ourselves in our relations with Russia.
Relations with Russia and the impact of the Ukrainian conflict on regional security were also discussed with colleagues from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Eduskunta. “The Ukrainians must be given a European perspective, but they also need constant reminding that they must start with the reforms already now. It is not possible to postpone the reforms somewhere into the future,” Mihkelson said.
The members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Eduskunta assured that all political parties support the continuing of the European Union sanctions against Russia.
At the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland Erkki Tuomioja, the activities of the extremist organisation Islamic State and also the conflict between Ukraine and Russia were discussed.
During the working visit of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu to Finland, the members of the Committee also met with the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö. The delegation of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu includes the Chairman Marko Mihkelson, Deputy Chairman Enn Eesmaa and members of the Committee Maimu Berg and Imre Sooäär.
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