Rinne in Russia: “We do not accept the occupation of Crimea”

This was Antti Rinne's Rinne's first official visit to Moscow - and his first meeting with Russian Prime Minister Medvedev - since becoming Prime Minister in June.

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Prime Minister Antti Rinne (L) and Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Medvedev speaking to reporters at a press conference in Moscow, 25th November 2019 / Credit: VNK

Finland’s Prime Minister has issued a blunt message to his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, on his first visit to Moscow.

Speaking after his meeting, Antti Rinne (SDP) stressed that relations between the two neighbouring countries are as effective as the can be, given the state of international affairs at present.

“Russia plays a crucial role in resolving the conflict in Ukraine. Relations between the EU and Russia can only be normalised if the Minks agreements are fully implemented” said Rinne.

“We do not accept the occupation of Crimea. Finland stands completely behind EU policy” he adds.

Climate change and business 

Also on the agenda for Monday’s talks were climate change, the environment and economic relations between Finland and Russia.

“We can do a lot together in environmental matters. We discussed conrete measures in relation to the Paris Climate Convention” says Rinne, who also briefed Medvedev on a Baltic Sea Summit the Finns are planning to host.

Turning to business development and economic relations, Prime Minister Rinne noted that Russia is an important market for many Finnish companies – despite ongoing EU sanctions.