Adviser to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov met with Finnish Ambassador to Russia Antti Helantera in Moscow to discuss the development of bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries as well as the participation of representatives of the Finnish government and business in key business events.
Opening the meeting, Kobyakov thanked the Finnish Embassy and Finnish partners for their initiatives and active participation in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2021. As part of the Forum’s business programme, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari took part in the Russia–Finland business dialogue, which focused on cooperation in sustainable development and the environment. During the meeting at the Forum, the co-chairs of the Russian-Finnish Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, Denis Manturov and Skinnari, expressed particular interest in the theme of green energy.
“At present, our countries are actively collaborating in a number of strategic areas, in particular, the transition to a circular economy, sustainable shipbuilding, forestry, and waste management. We need to promote business activity, develop interaction among business, implement new investment projects, bolster interregional cooperation, and maintain and strengthen cultural ties between our peoples,” Kobyakov said.
Russia and Finland are developing an active dialogue on pressing issues concerning bilateral cooperation, including in the Baltic Sea region. A notable example of the two countries’ desire to develop practical solutions was the ‘Our Common Baltic Sea’ discussion forum, which took place in Helsinki on 5 November and was attended by officials, entrepreneurs, experts, and representatives of public organizations from both countries.
“Relations between our countries are developing in various areas. Despite the difficult economic period, we are seeing positive trends in bilateral trade. From January to June 2021, exports of goods from Finland to Russia increased by 25.7%, while imports from Russia grew by 17.8%,” Helantera said.
Interaction in the Arctic region is one of the most important areas of cooperation between Russia and Finland. The countries are engaging in successful scientific and technological cooperation on a wide range of issues. Kobyakov and Helantera discussed the first event of the THINK ARCTIC project: an online conference titled ‘Russian-Finnish Cooperation in the Sustainable Development of the Arctic Region’, which will be held on 29 November 2021. The conference, which will be attended by experts and representatives of government and business from Finland and Russia, will focus on the current state of and prospects for Russian-Finnish cooperation in the Arctic in an effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals in light of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023. The results of the conference will be used to compile an analytical report about international cooperation on sustainable development issues between Russia as well as Arctic and non-Arctic states.
In addition, Helantera said a Finnish delegation plans to actively take part in the 6th ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum in April 2022, the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and other key business events.