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Prime Minister Juha Sipilä held discussions with the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in St Petersburg on Thursday September 21. The premiers also attended the opening of the Finnish-Russian culture forum as part of celebrations marking the centenary of Finland’s independence.
Sipilä and Medvedev discussed key bilateral issues including the promotion of the countries’ economic relations. “We took note of the positive development that has taken place in both trade and tourism between Finland and Russia since our previous meeting in Oulu last December. There is an upswing in the number of border crossings and visa applications. In terms of overnight stays, the number of Russian tourists in Finland has increased by 19 percent,” said Prime Minister Sipilä.
The premiers also discussed environmental issues, such as the Krasnoi Bor hazardous waste landfill site and black carbon. The countries in the Arctic Council have set as their target to reduce black carbon emissions which contribute to climate change in the Arctic region.
In connection with international issues, the prime ministers discussed the EU-Russia relations and the situation in Ukraine. “The EU-Russia relations are overshadowed by the Ukrainian conflict and linked to a resolution to the conflict. Despite the current sanctions, the EU and Russia are neighbors and cooperation in various sectors is in the interest of both parties. Dialogue remains important,” Sipilä said.
Prime Ministers Sipilä and Medvedev spoke at the opening of the Finnish-Russian culture forum. The theme of the 18th culture forum is A hundred faces of culture and it is the main event marking the centenary of Finland’s independence in Russia.
In St Petersburg, Prime Minister Sipilä also met Finnish and Russian businesses representatives at the Finland House, which is to be purchased by the State of Finland as agreed by Sipilä and Medvedev last December. In their meeting with Prime Minister Sipilä, the business representatives talked about Russia as a market area and about their business prospects there.
Source: Prime Minister’s Office Finland