In his New Year's speech President Koivisto expressed pleasure that actions increasing security and confidence in Europe had been agreed on at the CSCE disarmament conference in Stockholm. In his opinion, the meeting between President Reagan and General-Secretary Gorbachev in Reykjavik in autumn 1986 had been fruitful. His own proposal for security and confidence-building measures in Arctic sea areas had received support from other countries. Finland should see to her own defensive capability in spite of the improbability of her becoming involved in a war. In order to ensure the UN's ability to act, the financial problems of the organization should be solved.
A positive development of trade with the Soviet Union could be guaranteed through negotiations in spite of the decline in oil prices, the President said.
The Finnish Nuclear Ban Committee, which consists of the chairpersons of nine parliamentary groups and several prominent figures, appealed to US leaders to join the Soviet Union in refraining from nuclear tests.
New legislation on a civilian alternative to military service came into force. The period of service was extended to 16 months, but conscientious objection will no longer have to be proved. The Jehova's Witnesses were exempted from all service.
A delegation from the Communist Party visited the People's Republic of China. It was led by Arvo Aalto and met Deng Xiaoping.
Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov paid an official visit to Finland. Foreign Trade Minister Boris Aristov and the Minister for the Forest Industry I. Busygin were included in his delegation. Ryzhkov said that Finland's special position in Soviet European policy would continue. His discussions with president Koivisto covered international politics and disarmament, on which both side's views were largely in accord. Prime Ministers Sorsa and Ryzhkov signed an agreement covering peaceful space research and information procedures in the event of accidents at nuclear plants. A trade protocol for 1987 was signed by foreign trade ministers Jermu Laine and Boris Aristov. A communiqué was published at the end of the visit.
An agreement with the Soviet Union on early notification of nuclear accidents and exchanges of information concerning nuclear power plants.
An agreement with the Soviet Union on co-operation in peaceful space research and exploitation.
The Ministry of Defence's five-year plan for 1988-92 was published. On the basis of the Parliamentary defence committee's proposal, it envisages an annual increase of 5.5%, in military spending, bringing defence costs during the period to 35 billion finnmarks. The major part, 48%, of procurements would be for the army. Replacement of interceptor aircraft would begin at the end of the term. Legislative drafting by the Ministry of Defence will include such subjects as regional surveillance, revisions of military regulations and exports of war material.
Professor Allan Rosas suggested in an article in Hufvudstadsbladet that an advisory council for human rights be set up under the auspices of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The chairmen of the Nordic social democratic parties and representatives of trade union organizations met in Helsinki. Social Democratic Party chairman Kalevi Sorsa and the chairman of SAK (the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions) Pertti Viinanen attended the meeting. It was stated in the communiqué that if the UN failed to introduce sanctions against South Africa in February, the Nordic social democrats would implement sanctions of their own.
Centre Party chairman Väyrynen attended a meeting of Nordic centre party leaders in Oslo.
An "Isolate South Africa” campaign was launched by 60 civic organizations. Representatives of the South African national congress ANC and the Namibian Liberation Organization SWAPO attended the events. Demands that economic and diplomatic relations with South Africa be severed were presented to the Finnish government. The ANC and SWAPO announced that they wanted to open an information office in Finland.
The Council of Economic Organizations in Finland visited the Soviet Union led by its director Kauko Sipponen.
A seminar arranged by the Finnish People's Democratic League and the Communist Party to discuss Fenno-Soviet trade took place in Helsinki. It was stated that the development of trade with the Soviet Union clearly depended on diversification of Finnish imports from that country.
Finland acceded to a Council of Europe convention which permits persons convicted in foreign countries to serve their sentences in their own countries if they wish.
At a meeting of the Nordic Club, Foreign Minister Väyrynen called for disarmament questions to be dealt with more broadly at the Stockholm Disarmament Conference. The CSCE follow-up process should also be developed, e.g. by holding regular follow-up meetings.
The Research Institute of Economic Organizations in Finland (ETLA) published a study: "Trade with the Soviet Union in the Finnish National Economy”. It includes a review of trade up to 1990. The forecast is that the volume of trade then will be less than in 1985. The study reviews the history of trade with the Soviet Union, its role in the national economy and various branches of industry, its bilateral nature, financial systems and future prospects.
"Opening and Closing Finland”, a study of public attitudes based on opinion polls, was published. It revealed that the Finns want to isolate themselves from the world outside internationality is not appreciated. Every other interviewee felt that development aid should not be increased as long as there are people who need help in our own country. On the other hand, internationalization of trade and business was considered important.
A meeting of Nordic energy ministers was held in Helsinki. Minister of Trade and Industry Seppo Lindblom said after the meeting that there was no need as yet to take decisions on a joint Nordic gas network.
The presidium of the Nordic Council decided to propose at the Council's February session that a committee for international affairs be set up under its auspices.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced that Finland would give aid totalling 1,600 million finnmarks to the SADCC countries, SWAPO and the ANC in 1987-90.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs appointed a working group to study local authorities' interest in receiving and taking care of refugees. It will also make a recommendation on how many refugees Finland should admit.
President and Mrs Koivisto visited India, accompanied by Foreign Minister Väyrynen and three other members of the Government. Koivisto said that Finland would support an offer by six neutral countries to supervise an eventual nuclear test ban treaty between the major powers. An effort would be made to balance Finnish-Indian trade by increasing imports from India to Finland.
The Nordic countries made an official four-point proposal for an environmental conference between the 35 CSCE countries at the Vienna follow-up meeting.
The five-year plan announced by the Development Co-operation Department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs features a new form of aid for financing projects, interest subsidies. Development co-operation loans are to be phased out and aid will be given only in the forms of donations and loans at subsidized rates of interest. Bilateral aid recipients, least developed countries (LDCs) and other primary beneficiaries will remain the same as before. By 1992 development co-operation funds will total 3 billion finnmarks. Multilateral aid will be focused on supporting international funds and programmes, mainly through UN special agencies.
Modifications to a payments agreement with the German Democratic Republic.
A meeting of a working group studying the problems of and co-operation in the Finnish and Norwegian Arctic areas was held in Oslo. It is to present its proposals by the end of 1987.
A bill proposing that foreigners be allowed to own shares in Finnish companies was modified to increase the proportion of shares that they can own from 20% to 40%.
The 32nd meeting of the Fenno-Soviet Economic Commission was held in Helsinki on 10 February, 20 years after its creation. The leader of the Soviet delegation, Deputy Prime minister Vladimir Karnentshev, and Prime Minister Sorsa signed the minutes of the meeting on 13 February. No new projects or deals were announced. The extension of the long-term co-operation programme up to the year 2000 was referred to the working group which is dealing with the matter.
Chairman of the National Coalition Party Ilkka Suominen attended a meeting of Nordic conservative and right-wing party chairmen in Oslo.
Minister of finance Esko Ollila said at the opening of a national defence seminar that growth in defence appropriations was likely to be only half the amount recommended by Parliamentary defence committees. The Defence Forces should spend their present appropriations more efficiently.
In a disarmament conference attended by 40 countries in Geneva, Finland emphasized the importance of achieving a nuclear test ban.
As part of the Finnish chemical disarmament project, which is run by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, an international meeting of experts on automatic control methods for chemical disarmament took place in Helsinki. Its report was sent to the Geneva disarmament talks.
General Secretary Alessandro Natta of the Italian Communist Party visited Finland. He met chairman Arvo Aalto, President Koivisto and Social Democratic Party chairman Kalevi Sorsa.
About thirty politicians, scientists, artists and representatives of economic life took part in a peace forum in Moscow. There were 900 participants from abroad and 350 from the Soviet Union.
An agreement between Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden to avoid double taxation tax of income and wealth.
The Geneva Minute (1987) to the general agreement of custom tariffs and trade (GATT).
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs announced that Finland would not undertake immediate economic sanctions against South Africa, since the UN Security Council had not approved a resolution on the matter. Finland would decide on eventual new actions after consultation with Sweden.
The 35th meeting of the Nordic Council was held in Helsinki. Member of Parliament Elsi Hetemäki-Olander, who led the Finnish delegation, was elected Chairperson of the Council. The ministerial delegation was led by Prime Minister Sorsa. A proposal that a committee for international affairs be set up was discussed. The Finns opposed the proposal, which would have brought foreign policy within the Council's ambit. The establishment of the committee and definition of its tasks were entrusted to the Economic Committee. The Council did not recommend any measures against South Africa. A decision to give additional aid to the front line countries in Southern Africa was made at the Prime Ministers' meeting. On 25 February the Nordic countries signed an agreement covering information on nuclear power plants and any accidents at them. It was agreed that the question of an expanded four-channel Tele-X project would be dealt with by summer. The Council recommended preparation of a Nordic system of export financing, venture loans and loan guarantees.
The Nordic trade union organization PAY pointed out to the Nordic Council that the demands and information needs of the trade union movement must be considered when companies are acquired or merged. It also stated that ill-considered synchronization of Nordic economic life with EC integration was undesirable.
Modifications to the 4th and 5th appendices of the convention on protection of the maritime environment in the Baltic region.
A meeting of the Baltic Commission was held in Helsinki. Subjects discussed included prevention of eutrophication and a lack of oxygen in the sea as well as increasing preparedness to combat oil spills, especially in winter.
Agreements between Denmark and Finland, Sweden and Finland and Norway and Finland on exchanges of information and notifications concerning each country's nuclear power plants and nuclear incidents.
The directors-general of the Nordic television companies submitted their own report on TV co-operation in the region to the Nordic Council. In their view, a four-channel Tele-X satellite system would be better than the two-channel alternative.
Foreign Minister Väyrynen said at a luncheon for journalists in Helsinki that Sweden's decision to launch a trade boycott of South Africa required Finland to join the Nordic boycott policy now taking shape.
An agreement between Finland and the German Democratic Republic on non-commercial payment transactions.
Foreign Minister Paavo Väyrynen gave a lecture at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs on "Finnish Foreign Policy in 1977-1987.” In his view, President Koivisto had dependably continued the Paasikivi-Kekkonen policy line. Väyrynen added that Finland would propose action to strengthen confidence-building measures in Arctic sea areas both within the CSCE and at the UN. He said he considered it possible to appoint a Nordic working group, composed of civil servants, to study the proposed Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone Finland has no desire to become a member of the EC, he added. He attended the funeral of Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Frydelund the same day.
According to an opinion poll conducted for the National Defence Planning Committee in December 1986, 91% of Finns considered foreign policy to be well conducted and 5% considered it badly managed. Half of those interviewed wanted to keep defence spending on the present level, 32% to increase it and 15% wanted to reduce it.
Speaking in Vaasa, Minister of Defence Pihlajamäki said that it would be difficult to sustain our defensive capability in the 1990s with the present level of appropriations. The structure of the defence budget was correct, but defence policy should be included in the programme of the next government. Matters that needed study included appropriations and women's participation in unarmed service.
Parliamentary elections were held. 75.9% of the 4 million entitled to do so voted. Non-socialist parties won 120 seats (56% of the votes), socialist parties 76 (37.7%) and others 4 (6.1%). Various parties won seats as follows (percentage of total poll in brackets): Social Democratic Party 56 (24.1%); National Coalition Party 53 (23.1%); Centre Party 40 (17.6%) Finnish People's Democratic League 16 (9.4%); Swedish People's Party of Finland 13 (5.3%); Rural Party 9 (6.3%); Christian League of Finland 5 (2.6%); Democratic Alternative 4 (4.2%); Greens 4 (4.0%). The Liberal Party of Finland, The Pensioners' Party and independent candidates failed to win seats. The National Coalition Party won additional seats, whilst the Rural Party and the Finnish People's Democratic League were the biggest losers.
A visa-abolition agreement with Nicaragua.
Minister of Trade and Industry Seppo Lindblom attended a meeting of Nordic industry ministers in Copenhagen. The ministers called for easier direct investment between the countries.
Bank director Jaakko Iloniemi told a seminar for Swedish-speaking journalists in Helsinki that there were pressures to abandon bilateral trade between Finland and the Soviet Union.
A delegation from the Finnish Nuclear Ban Committee visited the US and presented an appeal to the Administration to stop nuclear tests. The delegation met members of Congress and representatives of the American peace movement.
Nordic Day and the 25th anniversary of the so-called Helsinki Agreement - the basis for Nordic co-operation - were celebrated. The former secretary general of the Nordic Council I.C. Björklund said in a speech at a symposium arranged by the Pohjola-Norden Society that if the Nordic countries ensure their freedom of movement in relation to the EC by maintaining a united front, they would also be able to pursue independent social policies. In the present situation, the development of the EC posed a threat to maintaining and further improving protection of consumers, labour and the environment. Prime Minister Sorsa presented an address of welcome on behalf of the government.
A call for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to be made global was made in the Finnish address to the UN meeting on peaceful use of nuclear energy.
It was announced that Finland would admit 120 refugees during the spring.
The spring meeting of Nordic foreign ministers was-held in Reykjavik, with Paavo Väyrynen representing Finland. It was decided to set up a joint Nordic committee of civil servants to study the premises for a Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone. The starting point would be the alliance obligations of some countries and the neutrality policies of others. In a statement on South Africa, the ministers said that the situation there had become even more alarming. Every country would implement a boycott independently.
Chairman Pentti Viinanen of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions was elected deputy chairman of the Nordic trade union organization PAY. The meeting, which took place in Helsinki, also dealt with trade prospects in the light of the EC's internal development.
Canadian Foreign Minister Joseph Clark announced that Canada would not close its embassy in Helsinki after all.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs appointed a committee to follow EFTA-EC co-operation and the development of the EC's internal market and its effects on Finland. The six-member committee will work until in 1989. It may set up working groups if necessary.
A Ministry of Justice working group, which has been drafting contingency laws for times of crisis, submitted its proposal to Minister of Justice Taxell. The bill envisages that the Ministry would be able to exercise the powers provided for in it once Parliament had sanctioned use of the powers.
Helsingin Sanomat published an opinion poll in which 69% considered our foreign policy successful, if attaining neutrality was regarded as the goal. 17% thought foreign policy had drifted too much to the East, whilst 4% believed there had been a westward shift.
National celebrations marking the 39th anniversary of the Fenno-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance took place in Jyväskylä. Soviet Minister of Communications N.S. Konarev presented an address of welcome and stressed the importance of the Bolshevik Party as the guarantor of Finnish independence in 1917. Minister of Labour Urpo Leppänen described relations between the two countries as dynamic.
It was decided that the former presidential residence Tamminiemi would be made the "Urho Kekkonen Museum”.
A Finnish delegation led by Foreign Trade Minister Jermu Laine attended in celebrations marking the 39th anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Moscow. Laine had talks with Soviet Foreign Trade Minister Aristov on the trade situation against the background of the fact that the 300 million rouble credit limit in the clearing account had been exceeded, with a surplus in Finland's favour, a little earlier.
Social Democratic Party chairman Kalevi Sorsa attended a meetings of the SI disarmament council and board in Rome. The SI called for a quick agreement to remove medium- range missiles from Europe, after which reduction of short-range missiles and conventional weapons should be discussed. The meeting also dealt with environment questions and the situation in the Mediterranean.
Talks on revisions of Fenno-Soviet trade were held in Helsinki. Conventional imports had been in accordance with the agreement, but brokered sales of oil via Finland had not worked out. Exports to the Soviet Union had been in accordance with the lower limit of the export quota provided for in the agreement.
Minister at the Ministry of Finance Pekka Vennamo addressed a meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington on behalf of the Nordic countries. He proposed that interest on loans granted to the least developed countries be lowered to reduce the financial burden on those countries.
UN Deputy Secretary-General Marack Golding, who is responsible for peacekeeping operations, visited Finland. He met President Koivisto, Foreign Minister Väyrynen and Commanding General of the Defence Forces General Jaakko Valtanen. Discussions covered South Lebanon and the financing of peacekeeping operations.
A delegation from the Finnish Nuclear Ban Committee visited the Soviet Union to appeal to the Supreme Soviet that a ban on nuclear tests be implemented.
A seminar on Nordic refugee policy was arranged by the Nordic Council in Saltsjöbaden near Stockholm. A hundred members of parliament, civil servants and experts participated.
The Social Democratic parliamentary group introduced a bill to demand a direct, two-phase presidential election to replace the system envisaged in the constitution reform package.
President and Mrs Koivisto paid a state visit to Czechoslovakia. Koivisto met with President Gustav Husak. No problems were noted in relations between the two countries. President Koivisto explained the security policy situation in the Nordic countries and the foreign policy of Finland. President Husak outlined his country's foreign policy and gave an account of Mr. Gorbachev's visit.
Two bills providing for a reform of the presidential election system were submitted to the parliamentary constitutional committee. The National Coalition Party suggested changing over to a direct two-phase electoral system, whilst the Democratic Alternative proposed that the President be elected by Parliament.
The Centre Party delegation proposed that a direct two-phase popular vote be introduced in presidential elections, beginning in 1988.
The Peace Days of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions took place in Kuopio. The organization's peace prize was awarded to the "Isolate South Africa” campaign. The Finnish government was urged to increase its refugee quota.
A parliamentary delegation attended an IPU meeting in Managua, Nicaragua.
It was stated at a meeting of the ‘Asian Development Bank in Osaka that Finland has not been able to derive the maximum benefit from participation in the Bank. The Finnish delegation urged the Bank to take notice of environmental protection aspects in its loan programmes.
A representatives of the "Isolate South Africa” campaign appealed to the factions in the new Parliament to sever trade links with South Africa.
Jun Derjabin, a head of department at the Soviet Ministry for Foreign Affairs, visited Finland to explain his country's initiatives at the Geneva disarmament talks. He met President Koivisto.
Prime Minister Harri Holkeri's new government announced its programme, in which it pledged to continue the foreign policy established by Presidents Paasikivi and Kekkonen.
President Koivisto appointed the post-election government. Harri Holkeri (National Coalition Party) became Prime Minister, Kalevi Sorsa (Social Democratic Party) Foreign Minister, Pertti Salolainen (National Coalition Party) Foreign Trade Minister, Ole Norrbacka (Swedish People's Party of Finland) Minister of Defence, Ilkka Suominen (National Coalition Party) Minister of Trade and Industry, and Erkki Liikanen (Social Democratic Party) Minister of Finance.
An interview with Jermu Laine, Foreign Trade Minister in the previous government, was published in Hufvudstadsbladet. In his view, the most difficult task facing his successor is to create successful connections with an integrating Western Europe. The ability to compete in trade with the Soviet Union should be maintained in spite of the changes being brought about by the reforms there, he added.
A working group of Nordic parliamentarians had compiled suggestions on possibilities to implement a Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone. These were forwarded to the Nordic political parties for evaluation.
Tampere University researcher Pentti Raittila published his study of the Soviet Union's image young Finnish people. He found that they had more attitudes towards the subject than actual knowledge.
A conference of Ministers of Education from Western Europe with educational authorities from twenty-four countries participating was held in Helsinki. The meeting was chaired by Finnish Minister of Education Christoffer Taxell, and the Finnish delegation was led by Minister for Cultural Affairs Anna-Liisa Piipari. The subject of the meeting was teacher training.
In his speech at a celebration to mark the seventieth anniversary of Åbo Akademi, President Koivisto emphasized the importance of the Swedish language to Finnish people. He said that our Nordic connections also help us to handle our other international connections.
At the UN disarmament committee, Finland proposed confidence-building measures relating to sea areas, the air space above them and naval activities.
A meeting to discuss environmental hazards caused by development co-operation in aid-receiving countries was held in Stockholm. Representatives of both developing countries and countries assisting them, including the Finnish Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund, participated. He expressed the hope that his ministry would be given personnel to monitor the environmental effects of development aid.
Matti Ahde (Social Democratic Party) was elected Speaker of Parliament, Elsi Hetemäki-Olander (National Coalition Party) was elected 1st Deputy Speaker and Mikko Pesälä (Centre Party) 2nd Deputy Speaker.
A conference of researchers dealing with security policy in the Baltic region took place in Maarianhamina. The participants were scientists from Nordic research institutions.
Minister of Finance Liikanen, Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Toivo Pohjola attended a meeting of OECD ministers in Paris. The Finnish address included a call for other countries besides the Federal Republic of Germany and Japan to adopt a more expansive economic policy to increase trade. Pohjola said he considered the OECD's draft agricultural policy essentially correct, although Finland's views were different in some details.
Parliamentary Ombudsman Olavi Heinonen said that the practice of requiring foreigners to leave Finland to apply for a residence permit, as pursued by the Aliens' Office at the Ministry of the Interior, is not based on the Aliens Act and does not correspond to its goals.
Markus Aaltonen (Social Democratic Party) was elected Chairman of Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.
A meeting of Nordic culture ministers and the Nordic Council's cultural committee was held in Oslo. The Finnish representatives were the two ministers of education, Taxell and Piipari. It was decided to recommend to the Nordic Council of Ministers that the Tele-X satellite transmit four TV channels.
In an article under the pseudonym Kunto Kalpa in the newspaper Keskisuomalainen, it was claimed that in the foreign policy part of Prime Minister Holkeri's government programme the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance is accorded only the position of defining the relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union, whereas it had earlier been the basis of our foreign policy. According to the anonymous author, neutrality policy had now been subordinated to other sectors of foreign policy.
The government announced that a direct two-phase popular vote could not be used in the 1988 presidential election.
The CSCE non-aligned and neutral (N+N) countries held a meeting in Limasol, Cyprus. They stated that means should be found to connect disarmament questions with the CSCE. Another alternative discussed was that of keeping the CSCE negotiations and those between NATO and the Warsaw Pact separate.
The chairman of the Finnish Foreign Trade Association, Kari Kairamo, suggested at the annual meeting of the association that Finland should join the EC. This, he said, would define Finland's image more clearly.
A Finnish delegation led by Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen attended a meeting of EFTA ministers in Interlaken, Switzerland. Agreements simplifying customs clearance procedures and international transit traffic were signed by representatives of EFTA and the EC at the meeting. A package of measures to increase EFTA's preparedness for negotiations covering co-operation with the EC was approved. Finland proposed measures to make EFTA function more effectively.
A group of OECD experts visited Finland to obtain additional information for a comprehensive study of environmental protection which the organization had commissioned. Their initial assessment was that our environmental policy seemed to be following the right lines, but some laws and administrative practices in some sectors needed revision.
The Finnish Minister of Defence Norrback attended a meeting of Nordic defence ministers in Helsinki. The meeting dealt with the safety of troops serving with the UN and their financing.
A convention on simplification of trade formalities.
A convention standardizing extradition procedures.
Parliament celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Independence of Finland and the 80th anniversary of the unicameral legislature. President and Mrs Koivisto attended the Celebrations.
A report recommending that Swedish TV programmes be relayed to Finland through a land-based transmitter network was submitted to Minister of Communications Pekka Vennamo. Broadcasting could start in autumn 1988 and the whole network could be completed by 1992.
The government introduced a bill to break off both imports from and exports to South Africa from 1 July, 1987. This also included trade with Namibia.
A Finnish-Swedish week was arranged in Stockholm under the slogan "The Swedish Language Unites.” Suedo-Finnish culture was presented during the week. Prime Minister Holkeri inaugurated the event on 23 May. President and Mrs Koivisto attended the closing ceremonies on 31 May, together with King Carl XVI and Queen Silvia.
The 40th world conference of the international newspaper publishers' and editors' union PIEJ was arranged in Helsinki. President Koivisto and Prime Minister Holkeri attended the opening. The topics discussed included implementation of the CSCE Final Act, the credibility of the press and the development of a free press in Southern countries.
The UN-sponsored International Labour Organization called on Finland to bring labour legislation into line with an international convention that it had signed. Current Finnish legislation violates the convention in failing to prevent discrimination against a job applicant who is a member of a trade union.
The Disarmament Delegation of the Socialist International visited Washington under the leadership of its chairman Kalevi Sorsa. The delegation met Secretary of State George Shultz, Vice President George Bush and disarmament negotiators. Sorsa noted that the atmosphere was favourable for disarmament.
The Disarmament Delegation of the Socialist International visited Moscow under the leadership of Kalevi Sorsa. He met Soviet President Andrei Gromyko and Secretary of the Central Committee Anatoli Dobrynin. Sorsa expressed the view that both superpowers were willing to reach agreement to eliminate medium-range missiles in Europe.
A committee of Nordic parliamentarians which had studied the question of implementing a Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone presented its report in Copenhagen.
The NN countries set up unofficial working groups to expedite the conference at the Vienna follow-up. Finland's task was to co-ordinate military questions.
Parliament passed a bill to amend the Constitution. Under the new electoral system, voters can vote for both a personal Presidential candidate and a member of the electoral college. If none of the personal candidates obtains a majority of the votes, the electoral college elects the President from among the candidates. The reform also slightly reduces the prerogatives of the President.
Foreign Minister Sorsa denied in a statement to the news agency Uutiskeskus that the present government's interpretation of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance was narrower than before. The foreign policy section of the government programme was, he said, almost the same as the previous government's. In Sorsa's opinion, there are hardly any differences of opinion between the Cabinet and the opposition regarding emphases in foreign policy.
Swedish TV decided to cut its Finnish-language programming.
The government decided to amend labour legislation to prevent discrimination of job-seekers belonging to unions. This was in response to a reprimand by the ILO.
President Koivisto announced his acceptance of the Social Democratic Party's nomination for the 1988 election.
The Social Democratic Party held its 34th congress in Helsinki. President Koivisto accepted the party's nomination for the 1988 presidential election. The chairman of the parliamentary group, Pertti Paasio, was elected the new chairman of the party. The meeting adopted the 3rd programme of principles in the party's history and a foreign policy document. Guests included the Swedish Prime Minister Ingemar Carlsson and representatives of other Nordic sister parties, the former Austrian Federal Chancellor Bruno Kreisky and representative of the west German and French social democratic parties.
An advisory committee on space matters submitted Finland's first space programme to Minister of Communications Vennamo. The committee recommended that the emphasis should be on research, long-range exploration and equipment technology. The level of financing should be raised from 22 million finnmarks in 1987 to 82 million by 1992.
Minister of Education Taxell appealed to Swedish Minister of Culture Bengt Göransson to ask Swedish TV not to reduce its programmes in Finnish.
A Ministry of Defence working group that had studied the possibility of women participating in peacekeeping activities did not consider this necessary.
An unofficial meeting of justice ministers from Council of Europe member countries was held in Helsinki. It was chaired by Minister of Justice Matti Louekoski.
Governor Kalevi Kivistö of Central Finland accepted the nomination of several civic organizations as presidential candidate.
Swedish Minister of Culture Bengt Göransson told Minister of Education Taxell that Swedish TV had reversed its decision to reduce Finnish-language programming.
The Ministry of Finance published its medium-range national economic plan for the period up to 1992. According to the plan, the influence of and dependence on the world market is increasing in Finland. Growth in development aid will slow down towards the end of the period.
At a seminar arranged by the Council of Economic Organizations in Finland, its managing director Kauko Sipponen evaluated reforms in Soviet foreign trade. The trading environment of the country will change with them, and that is why Finnish foreign trade should not be divided into Eastern and Western spheres. Instead, Europe should be treated as one coherent trading area.
The 28th Conference of Workers from Baltic Countries was held in Leningrad. 30 trade union representatives and chief shop stewards from Finland took part. It was emphasized at the meeting that monitoring the development of technology and environment protection were also the concern of the trade union movement.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen told the daily Turun Sanomat that in the Cabinet's opinion there appears to be no reason why our country should join the EC.
A meeting arranged by The Institute for East-West Security Studies and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs was held in Espoo. The theme was the effect of technology on the future and security of Europe. Foreign Minister Sorsa, who chaired the meeting, considered the effects of technological change unpredictable with regard to military and political stability. The participants represented twelve countries in the East and the West.
The 21st congress of the Finnish Communist Party was held in Helsinki. A new programme, the third, was adopted, together with the political manifesto "Independent Finland 70 Years.” Delegations from the Soviet Union, other socialist countries and some Western communist parties attended the meeting.
The National Coalition Party held its congress in Oulu. The party's presidential candidate Prime Minister Harri Holkeri rejected claims that his government's foreign policy line had changed compared with that pursued by earlier governments.
The Swedish People's Party held its congress in Tammisaari. The congress proposed that party members vote for any of the three main candidates, Koivisto, Holkeri or Väyrynen, in the presidential election. A resolution calling for Finland to admit more refugees and adopt a more humane policy towards aliens was approved. A recommendation that the party work for unanimity on Finland's joining the EC was also approved.
Minister of Defence Norrback announced that part-time soldiers would be enlisted on an experimental basis in Lapland and the south-western archipelago in 1988.
Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee led by its chairman Markus Aaltonen visited Strasbourg, France to see the EC Parliament. They met members of the EC Commission and the Council of Europe. Aaltonen said that Finland's relations with the EC should be taken care of with the assistance of EFTA and in a manner that strengthened EFTA.
A meeting of the Nordic ministers of culture and communications in Copenhagen failed to agree on implementation of the Tele-X-satellite project, with either two or four channels.
Parliament enacted legislation severing Finland's trade with South Africa.
Speaking at a meeting of political journalists, Centre Party chairman Paavo Väyrynen expressed his approval of the foreign policy programme adopted by Prime Minister Holkeri's government, saying that it did not emphasize matters different from those that earlier governments' programmes had included, in Väyrynen's opinion, there should be discussion of means of preserving our country's economic independence in the integrating Western world.
Representatives of the Centre Party, the National Coalition Party and the Communist Party commented on Foreign Minister Sorsa's suggestion that the country's foreign policy line should be renamed the "Finland Line”. They said that the present name, "Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line” was clear and defined in its contents, and that there was no need to change it.
Harri Holkeri attended a summer meeting of Nordic prime ministers in Röros, Norway. They agreed that the two-channel version of the Tele-X-satellite project should be implemented. They also discussed their countries' relations with the EC.
Erkki Liikanen attended a meeting of Nordic ministers of finance in Helsinki. The ministers decided on the outline of a joint Nordic plan of action concerning economic and employment policies. The plan is intended to take account of integration in Western Europe. A working group is to study the effects of each country's agricultural policy on the national economy and the use of state funds.
In an article in the daily Suomenmaa, permanent secretary Jaakko Numminen of the Ministry of Education proposed the setting up of an institute for studying international economics, especially economic relations between East and West. It should be named the Urho Kekkonen Institute.
"Summit 87”, a meeting arranged by the Peace Committee of Finland and the Finnish Committee of a Hundred took place in Jyväskylä. Subjects discussed included the future of the peace movement, the relationship between women and national defence, Finnish refugee policy and the growing interest of the superpowers in sea areas fringing northern Europe.
The new members of the Fenno-Soviet Economic Commission were named following the change of government. Minister for Foreign Affairs Sorsa will continue as chairman of the Finnish group. Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen was chosen as 1st deputy chairman.
Dr. Jukka Tarkka, who gave a lecture at a history seminar at Orivesi Institute, supported Foreign Minister Sorsa's proposal to call our foreign policy line the Finland Line. He said the name might just as well have been called the "Mannerheim-Ryti Line” as the "Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line”.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' refugee working group submitted its report to Foreign Minister Sorsa. Refugees should be admitted to the extent that housing and jobs could be arranged for them. Finland could take in 200 refugees in 1987.
Foreign Trade Minister Pertti Salolainen appointed a working group to study the image of Finland in the world and what kind of picture of our country should be disseminated.
Finland's receivables from the Soviet Union, including a special interest-bearing credit account, totalled 700 million roubles or almost 5 billion finnmarks.
In an interview in the daily Keskisuomalainen, Juri Derjabin of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on discussion of terminology in Finnish foreign policy, saying that the phrase "Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line” was plausible and correct on its historical basis.
In an interview in Hufvudstadsbladet, Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen reviewed the creation of Finnish relations with the EC. EFTA, he said, would be the right organization for this work for at least the next ten years. Finland was participating in integration and the debate concerning it on the economic level only, not on the political level. It was important to follow the development of relations between the EC and the CMEA (Comecon). Rapprochement between these groupings would eliminate trade barriers between East and West.
A working group appointed by the Peace Union of Finland and the Finnish Committee of a Hundred to study possibilities of women participating in national defence submitted its proposal to Minister of Defence Norrback. It opposed the idea.
A Ministry of Trade and Industry committee recommended that Finland abolish advance inspection of electrical appliances, which the EC considers a barrier to trade.
Prime Minister Harri Holkeri said in a radio interview that the PaasikiviKekkonen Line is a well-known and established name for the foreign policy of our country.
The Central Council of Nordic Agricultural Organizations met in Lappeenranta. A resolution approving of actions to make world trade flows smoother was passed, with the proviso that each country should have the right to decide on its own agricultural policy.
The sixth friendship festival of Finnish-Soviet Youth was held in the Soviet Union.
A motion that the Christian League of Finland should not nominate a candidate of its own in the presidential election was passed at the party's conference in Lappeenranta.
The Rural Party held its congress in Oulu. It nominated President Koivisto as its candidate, since President Koivisto had announced that he was running.
The chairmen of the Fenno-Soviet Economic Commission met in Moscow and Tbilisi. Chairman Sorsa and deputy chairman Suominen represented Finland. The aim stated was to increase trade between the countries in 1987 and reduce the debt outstanding from 1986. Sorsa forecast that Finnish exports would remain on the same level as in 1986.
General Secretary Jouko Kajanoja was nominated as the Democratic Alternative's presidential candidate.
In an interview in the daily Hufvudstadsbladet, Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen said he regarded the Holkeri cabinet's division of labour, with different ministers for Eastern and Western trade, as good. The importance of trade with the Soviet Union had clearly increased in recent times.
Minister of Defence Norrback said in Kuopio that the government's decision on what interceptor aircraft to introduce in the 1990s would have to be made within three years.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs said that preparations for Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi's visit would go ahead normally despite the fact that he would not visit other Nordic countries as originally planned. His reason for cancelling his visits to the other countries was said to be Kenya's poor human rights record.
The government decided to raise the refugee quota for this year for 1987 to 200.
The Centre Party's Chairman Paavo Väyrynen launched his presidential election campaign. He said it was important for Finland to preserve her economic and cultural independence as far as possible. A foreign-policy discussion on economic integration, development aid and international environmental co-operation was important, he said.
A Nordic forum for security policy discussion was set up at a meeting of Nordic members of parliament and representatives of civic organizations. A delegation from STETE (the Finnish Committee for Promoting Security) attended the meeting, which took place in Oslo.
A delegation led by Foreign Minister Sorsa attended a UN conference on the linkage between disarmament and development. In his address on behalf of Finland, Sorsa said that international co-operation and confidence-building measures can do more against rising military costs than actual disarmament agreements.
A protocol with China on modification of a long-term trade agreement.
A minute with China on modification of an agreement covering economic, industrial, scientific and technical co-operation.
A delegation representing Chilean political refugees visited Finland and outlined the position of political prisoners in their country. They met Foreign Minister Sorsa, Minister of the Interior Jarmo Rantanen and representatives of different parliamentary groups. The delegation requested asylum in Finland for thirty political prisoners.
The Democratic Alternative's presidential candidate, Jouko Kajanoja, launched his campaign in Hämeenlinna. He demanded activity in foreign policy and proposed that Finland offer to host a European economic CSCE.
A monument to the late President Kekkonen was unveiled in Hietaniemi Cemetery. President Koivisto attended and Prime Minister Holkeri spoke.
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs arranged a seminar on military-political questions concerning Arctic sea areas under the heading "Arctic Security and Co-operation”. The meeting was held in Helsinki and attended by experts from all Nordic countries and Canada.
A meeting of Nordic foreign ministers was held in Helsinki and received an interim report from the working group of civil servants studying the Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone. In the final communiqué, the hope was expressed that negotiations between the superpowers concerning medium-range missiles would soon produce results. The Nordic countries supported Finland's aspiration to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council for the 1989-90 term.
The first in the Urho Kekkonen series of lectures arranged by the Paasikivi society was given by Prime Minister Harri Holkeri. He said that Finland was striving to find forms of international co-operation in trade policy that would enable national power of decision to be preserved. Trade policy decisions must not endanger our neutrality policy nor prevent the development of Soviet trade and Nordic co-operation.
The former Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Matti Tuovinen was elected chairman of the UKK Heritage Society. A sixteen-member board was also elected. The society's purpose is to cherish the memory of Urho Kekkonen as a statesman.
Helsingin Sanomat published an interview with Foreign Minister Sorsa on the subject of refugee policy. In Sorsa's opinion, we could take global responsibility for 15,000 refugees. Our quota could be raised if our ability to take care of the refugees could be increased to the same extent. Sorsa said that Finland should decide its own refugee policy, which was not a matter for the Nordic Council.
The Turku School of Economics opened its Research and Training unit for Eastern Trade. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holkeri said that the new body would broaden and deepen research in its field.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs confirmed that Finland was ready to host the 4th CSCE follow-up. The meeting is likely to begin in 1991.
The Service Centre for Development Co-operation proposed to the Government that conscientious objectors be given the alternative of doing their national service in civilian development co-operation tasks.
In an interview in the weekly Suomen Kuvalehti, President Koivisto said that hosting Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi was justified. There was no reason for the hosts to bring up internal affairs - such as human rights - in discussions. Koivisto expressed his surprise at Norway's having announced in advance that the question of human rights in Kenya would be brought up during Moi's visit there. That, in his opinion, was why Moi's visit to Norway had been cancelled.
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry denied President Koivisto's claims that the Norwegian government had acted exceptionally in conjunction with Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi's visit. Moi himself cancelled his visit to Norway.
A delegation from the Finnish Committee for Promoting Security in Europe, led by its chairman Pertti Paasio, visited the USA. It discussed questions relating to arms control and the Security of Europe with representatives of the State and Defense Departments, the Senate and the House.
At a meeting to discuss refugees and immigrants in Stockholm, the Finnish Red Cross General Secretary Pär Stenbäck said that Finland could admit more refugees. It was a question of political will rather than of a lack of resources.
The 5th meeting of Eureka ministers was held in Madrid. A delegation led by Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen represented Finland. Finland will take part in 4 of the 59 new projects approved at the meeting.
The 1988 budget, totalling 113.8 billion finnmarks, was introduced in Parliament. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs' share was 3,038 million finnmarks, of which 2.5 billion (0.62% of GNP) was reserved for development aid. The main aid recipients are Egypt, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Vietnam. SWAPO and the ANC were also granted aid. 6.17 billion finnmarks was reserved for defence, an increase of 9%. The biggest single purchase is a short-range anti-aircraft defence system.
The Peace Committee of Finland, The Committee of Finnish Youth Organizations (SNT), the Peace Union of Finland, the Peace Research Institute and the Union of Free Cultural Work were awarded the UN Peace Prize "Messenger of Peace” in recognition of their work in the "Year of Peace 1987”.
In an interview in Turun Sanomat, Foreign Minister Sorsa examined Fenno-Soviet trade in the near future. He estimated that the value of trade in 1988 would remain at about 4 billion roubles. The 600 billion rouble surplus from 1987 should be halved before the first amortization of the special interest-bearing account in 1989-91.
Foreign Minister Sorsa issued a statement on the agreement between the superpowers to destroy medium-range missiles, saying that it will show that security in Europe can be guaranteed at a lower level of armament than at present. For the first time, existing arsenals are being reduced, he said, with disarmament the beneficiary.
A Finnish delegation led by Foreign Minister Sorsa attended the 42nd UN General Assembly in New York. In an address on behalf of Finland, Sorsa said that, after many years, positive progress had been made in superpower relations now that they were on the verge of an agreement to eliminate medium-range missiles in Central Europe. Sorsa hoped that this would not have a negative effect on the stability of the European peripheral area.
President Koivisto said during a TV current affairs programme that he was pleased with the superpowers' agreement in principle to abolish medium-range missiles and expressed the hope that the conventional arms race would not intensify instead. He declined to say how many refugees Finland should accept, but said that people of favourable age could be admitted.
In an interview in Hufvudstadsbladet, Minister of Defence Norrback called for the same unanimity surrounding the goals of defence policy as existed in foreign policy. He said that means of achieving this political unanimity would be studied during the autumn.
A meeting of the Finnish-West German Economic Commission was held in Minster and discussed the EFTA programme of negotiations with the EC in the near future. Finland criticized large subsidies paid by the EC to various industries.
National Coalition Party chairman Ilkka Suominen attended the third meeting of International Democratic Union (IDU) chairmen in West Berlin. He said in his address that the new government coalition formed in Finland in spring 1987 had not marked a change in our foreign policy line.
Finland announced officially at the Vienna follow-up that it was prepared to host the 4th follow-up.
Foreign Minister Sorsa responded to MP Esko Seppänen's parliamentary question concerning the linkage between international integration goals and Finnish foreign policy. He said our trade policy solutions were in harmony with our neutrality policy. Neutrality was not a trade policy term and its principles were not necessarily applicable to trade policy, he added.
As part of his presidential campaign, Paavo Väyrynen spoke at a meeting of the Centre Party Youth Association in Kuopio. He proposed that an office for co-operation in environmental protection be set up in the political department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The executive of the Christian League of Finland announced that the party would not be putting up a candidate of its own in the presidential election. Its members could freely vote for other candidates.
Minister of Defence Norrback said at the opening of a defence seminar that a parliamentary consultative committee, supplemented by experts on foreign and security policy, should be set up. Representatives of the opposition would also participate. The committee would act as an information channel between politicians and the defence administration.
President and Mrs Koivisto paid an official visit to the German Democratic Republic. Foreign Minister Sorsa and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen accompanied them. President Koivisto had talks with head of state and party leader Erich Honecker on subjects including Finnish foreign policy, disarmament and bilateral relations. He expressed Finland's particular concern about long-range cruise missiles. He also said that more German should be taught in Finland. Increasing the efficiency of trade between Finland and the DDR was discussed. Foreign ministers Sorsa and Oskar Fischer signed an agreement abolishing visa requirements between the two countries. An agreement on legal aid was also signed.
Amnesty International published a memorandum on its investigation of shortcomings which, according to a survey conducted by the organization, foreigners asking for political asylum in Finland encountered. It made proposals to the Finnish government on how the shortcomings should be redressed.
National Coalition Party chairman Ilkka Suominen said at a meeting of the party executive that resources must be allocated to increase Finland's refugee quota and that Foreign Minister Sorsa's recent call for closer attention to refugee policy had been necessary.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health released a guide explaining how foreigners can request asylum in Finland.
A visa-abolition agreement with the German Democratic Republic.
On his return from the DDR, President Koivisto said that his statement on the present refugee policy of Finland had been along the right lines. Finland must decide her own refugee policy, which was not anyone else's concern. Political actions had enabled the level of Comecon trade to be maintained, he said.
President Koivisto accepted the presidential nomination of an independent civic delegation, the Pro Koivisto Movement.
In a statement on the speech made by Soviet Leader Gorbachev in Murmansk on 1 October, President Koivisto said that the Government appreciated the support given to its proposal for a Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone and confidence-building measures in Arctic maritime areas. He said that the six point in the speech would open new vistas on relations in the Nordic region.
A meeting to discuss the present state of Finland's official development co-operation was arranged by the Service Centre for Development Aid. It was attended by representatives of civic organizations and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. A point made was that more aid should go to education and health and its delivery should be controlled better than at present. In the assessment of Professor Jan-Magnus Jansson, the main recommendations of the development aid report completed ten years ago have been well implemented.
Official announcements of the presidential election candidacies of the National Coalition Party candidate Harri Holkeri and the Centre Party candidate Paavo Väyrynen were made to the central board of the Helsinki electoral district.
President and Mrs Koivisto visited the Soviet Union, accompanied by Foreign Minister Sorsa and Trade and Industry Minister Suominen. President Koivisto discussed the contents of General-Secretary Gorbachev's speech in Murmansk with him. Mr. Gorbachev requested Finland's support in arranging a CSCE human rights conference in Moscow. Sorsa and Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Kamentsev signed a protocol dealing with a long term economic programme between the two countries. This envisages increased use of foreign currency, although most trade will continue to be conducted on a clearing basis.
A study conducted by the Ministry of Labour and the Department of Sociology at the University of Helsinki on Finnish attitudes to refugees and foreigners was published. 42% of those interviewed were in favour of increasing the number of refugees and 40% considered the present number appropriate. Women had more positive attitudes towards refugees than men, as did the young and middle-aged. Almost half of those interviewed thought immigration laws were too restricting. The poll was conducted in May-July, 1987.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen told a meeting of political journalists that negotiations with the EC through EFTA with the goal of a single European economic space should be concluded by 1994.
"Movement 88” nominated Governor Kalevi Kivistö and Democratic Choice General Secretary Jouko Kajanoja as their respective presidential candidates. The Liberal Party announced that its members were free to choose the presidential candidate they wanted to vote for and urged introduction of a direct, two-phase voting system in the 1994 presidential election. The President should be restricted to two terms in office and his powers in domestic policy curtailed, it added.
The Social Democratic Party and the Rural Party officially notified the central board of the Helsinki electoral district of their nomination of President Koivisto in the 1988 election.
Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Finns would have liked to change the formulation of the final communiqué published in conjunction with President Koivisto's visit to the Soviet Union. They would have liked to omit a reference to the Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line and Finland's striving for a neutrality policy. According to the newspaper, the Soviets had not agreed to the modification, preferring the earlier wording of the communiqué. President Koivisto did not comment on the matter on his return from the Soviet Union on 11 October.
Under-Secretary of State Klaus Törnudd said that negotiations concerning the communiqué of President Koivisto's visit had been normal. Neither party had suggested new formulations concerning the Finnish foreign policy line.
A delegation representing 47 civic organizations submitted an appeal to Foreign Minister Sorsa calling for broader co-operation between Finland and the other Nordic countries to aid the front line states in Southern Africa. The appeal included a seven-point plan of action.
The council of the Socialist International met in Dakar, Senegal. Foreign Minister Sorsa and Social Democratic Party chairman Pertti Paasio attended. The subjects dealt with included Africa’s economic crisis and disarmament questions, particularly that of medium-range missiles in Europe.
The Peace Union of Finland, the UN Association and the Peace Education Institute arranged a seminar on peace policy in Kirkkonummi. Pertti Joenniemi from the Tampere Peace Research Institute spoke on President Koivisto's relations with the Defence Forces and his views on its functions. The director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Karl Möttölä spoke on Koivisto's activity in foreign policy, which in his opinion is on the same level as Kekkonen's.
Parliament discussed liberalization of legislation, which might be required in some fields to enable Finland to participate in Western European integration. The discussion was prompted by government bill to harmonize customs forms with Western European formats.
President Koivisto described his visit to the Soviet Union to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament. He discussed Soviet trade and the communiqué of the visit and said that his talks had been conducted in a normal manner.
Finland expressed particular concern at the continual introduction of more long-range cruise missiles in its address to the General Assembly's first disarmament committee. Concern was also expressed at the growing pace of military development and research work.
Representatives of the State, municipalities and civic organizations attended a seminar on the subject of refugees arranged by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Espoo. Foreign Minister Sorsa said that it was important to mould popular attitudes, since responsibility for receiving refugees did not lie solely with the State.
Kunto Kalpa (a pseudonym), writing in Keskisuomalainen, speculated that the Finns had sought modifications to the draft of the communiqué of President Koivisto's visit to the Soviet Union. According to Kalpa, the definition of neutrality had been diminished. The proposed alteration had been badly formulated and led to a weakening of confidence.
Minister of Education Taxell addressed the UNESCO assembly in Paris on behalf of Finland. Finland's goal is to strengthen the position of the organization and to restore confidence in it, he said.
Peace marches were arranged in 84 places as part of the UN disarmament week. 60,000 people took part, including 7,000 in Helsinki.
Representatives of the four major trade union confederations attended celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution and of Finnish independence in Leningrad. The events were arranged jointly by the Finnish and the Soviet trade unions.
The first meeting of EFTA and EEC environment ministers took place in Holland. The Finnish Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund emphasized the importance of increasing co-operation in environmental protection both in Western Europe and globally.
President Koivisto said on TV that the final communiqué of his visit to the Soviet Union was "very good” and the officials who had negotiated it had succeeded in their work, but added that communiqués could be dispensed with. He dismissed doubts that our neutrality had been weakened in the communiqué.
The council of the Finnish People's Democratic League urged the government to report to Parliament on questions of European integration, to enable it to define its basic line and goals in the matter. Finland should promote co-operation concerning the whole of Europe, rather than just Western Europe's integration aspirations.
Speaking at a meeting in Pielavesi on the subject of the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance, Centre Party chairman Paavo Väyrynen said that communiqués after Finnish-Soviet meetings represented continuity in our neighbourly relations.
Foreign Minister Sorsa made a speech to the Pohjola-Norden Society. He said that integration in Western Europe demanded increased Nordic co-operation and that Nordic EFTA members were largely unanimous about EFTA's task and position.
The Advisory Board for Economic relations between Finland and Developing Countries (TALKE) gave Foreign Minister Sorsa its proposals concerning goals for new development co-operation. Development aid should increase human rights and democracy. In the 1990's, 1% of the GNP should be taken as the quantitative goal for development aid. More funds should be allocated for education, health care and water supply. The number of target countries should not be increased.
The chairman of four parties, Pertti Paasio (Social Democrats), Paavo Väyrynen (Centre), Arvo Aalto (Communists, majority) and Taisto Sinisalo (Communists, minority) attended celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution in Moscow.
The Movement 88 candidate Kalevi Kivistö launched his campaign in Jyväskylä.
A meeting of the executive of the "Committee of a Hundred” demanded that the President and the Government define clear lines for our refugee policy. The present conception of refugees was based on a nationalistic and isolated society's images of aliens.
President Koivisto and Foreign Minister Sorsa attended celebrations in Moscow marking the seventieth anniversary of the Russian Revolution. President Koivisto presented Finland's address of greeting on 2 November and said that Finland would consistently continue the Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line in her foreign policy. The Fenno-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and mutual Assistance was the basis for relations between our countries. In his capacity as deputy chairman of the Socialist International, Kalevi Sorsa gave a speech 3 November.
Celebration marking the 70th anniversary of Finnish independence and the October Revolution took place in Helsinki. President Koivisto said in his speech that the Bolshevik's revolution and their staying in power had guaranteed Finnish independence. A Soviet delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Gusev attended.
A conference of five Nordic centrist and liberal and Christian parties was held in Turku and discussed environmental and regional policies.
A meeting of the council of the Pohjola-Norden society was held in Tampere. Minister of Defence ole Norrback was elected chairman of the council.
In an article in Helsingin Sanomat, Centre Party chairman Väyrynen discussed Finland's relationship to European integration. He said that the government had not examined how broad economic independence could be preserved in the process.
At its autumn meeting in Turku, the economic committee of the Nordic Council proposed the establishment of a committee to deliberate Nordic co-operation in international connections. Two members from each country were named. The new body will study the relationship between Nordic and European integration, the environment and development co-operation, cultural co-operation and Nordic representation in international organizations in general. Its work is due for completion by the end of 1988. At a meeting of Nordic ministers of finance held in the same conjunction, concern was expressed about the effects of the stock exchange and currency crisis that had begun in October. Policy on refugees was also discussed.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry appointed a committee to prepare for a Finnish expedition to the Antarctic and promote participating in international co-operation in polar regions.
Parliamentary parties, labour-market organizations and several other bodies appointed a committee to arrange celebrations for the 40th anniversary of the Fenno-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance 6 April, 1988.
The Movement 88 presidential candidate, Kalevi Kivistö, said in Lahti that Finland should raise its refugee quota to 700 and improve shortcomings in her treatment of asylum-seekers and in the way refugees were catered for.
The Social Democratic Party and the Soviet Communist Party held a joint seminar in Helsinki. The Soviet delegation was led by the director of the Social Sciences Institute Jun Krasin. Foreign Minister Sorsa said that cooperation between the two countries to protect the environment should be increased. Finland could act as a link and intermediary between Eastern and Western research concerning Nordic areas. Historical research was also discussed.
Swedish Minister of Culture Bengt Göransson asked Finland to take a clear stance on implementation of the Tele-X-satellite project. He said that it now depended on Finland, Sweden would honour its commitment.
The Chairman of the Swedish People's Party and Minister of Education Taxell said in Hanko that the introduction of a direct presidential electoral system would probably not succeed, because changing the electoral system had been linked to narrowing the powers of the president. A decision on the electoral system should be taken without connecting it to any other reforms, he said.
Foreign Minister Sorsa lectured on Finland's security policy position at the autumn meeting of the Defence Society. There are, he said, both alarming and encouraging features in our environment. Arctic areas could become an important object of Nordic co-operation. In his view, the CSCE negotiations on reducing conventional weapons are important for Finland. Neutral countries are entitled to receive information on these matters.
In its address to the General Assembly, Finland expressed support for the UNHDR office, which handles the UN'S work with refugees.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of the Tampere Paasikivi society and a meeting of the council of Paasikivi societies were held in Tampere. The head of the political department at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Matti Kahiluoto spoke on the position of small neutral countries in the near future.
Pentti Salolainen attended a meeting of Nordic foreign trade ministers in Reykjavik. Discussion covered EFTA-EC relations and the current round of GATT talks.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said in an interview in Keskisuomalainen that no attempt had been made to change the text of the communiqué issued during President Koivisto's journey to the Soviet Union. What had been involved was a misunderstanding between officials. He added that "the Finland Line” was an appropriate name for our foreign policy.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the ANC signed an agreement on Finland's aid to the organization. The organization was given permission to open an information office in Finland.
The head of the Finnish Red Cross Pär Stenbäck was elected Secretary-General of the International Association of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at an assembly in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The National Coalition Party and Soviet representatives arranged a joint seminar on disarmament and Nordic security. Counsellor Albert Akulov of the Soviet Embassy said that Finland should increase its ability to intercept cruise missiles.
Professor Jan-Magnus Jansson said in Siuntio that Finland did not officially want to admit all the difficulties that adjusting to Western European integration would bring. Neutrality and Nordic relations would be put to the test.
The Fenno-Soviet Economic Co-operation Commission met in Prague. The Finnish delegation was led by Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. The meeting recommended 72 projects to be implemented by the countries.
A congress of the Finnish-Soviet Society took place in Helsinki. Governor Ahti Pekkala of the province of Oulu was elected as the Society's new chairman. The Soviet delegation was led by the deputy chairman of his country's union of friendship societies, J.V. Ivanov. The congress was intended to restructure the Society's activities.
A congress of the Finnish-Soviet Society took place in Helsinki. Governor Ahti Pekkala of the province of Oulu was elected as the Society's new chairman. The Soviet delegation was led by the deputy chairman of his country's union of friendship societies, J.V. Ivanov. The congress was intended to restructure the Society's activities.
At the annual general meeting of the Paasikivi Society, Foreign Minister Sorsa lectured on "Finland in Europe”. He said that our trade policy arrangements to date have been good. In European co-operation we should strive for a comprehensiveness that reduces ideological antagonisms.
A seminar was arranged by the Finnish Committee for Promoting Security in Europe to deliberate the Finnish national identity and the country's external image and role in the Europe of the 1990's.
A delegation from the Organization of South African Trade Unions (OSATU) visited Finland as a guest of the Central Organization of Finnish Trade Unions to discuss the delivery of aid promised by the latter.
Helsingin Sanomat published an opinion poll on Finnish attitudes to refugees and other foreigners. 48% of interviewees considered the existing immigration laws appropriate, 29% were in favour of admitting more refugees. An extension of immigration rights of other foreigners was supported by 25% of the interviewed and 65% considered the present situation appropriate. Positive attitudes towards refugees and foreigners had increased since a similar study a year ago.
The Finnish-Swedish Cultural Fund and the Hanasaari Cultural Centre arranged a seminar to ponder the situation of Finland and Sweden in relation to EC integration. Swedish Minister for Co-operation Mats Hallström and Prime Minister Holkeri spoke at the meeting. Both said that arranging co-operation with the EC could best be achieved through EFTA.
The Government approved the financial programme for development co-operation in 1988-91. During that period 4.9 billion finnmarks will given in bilateral aid. TALKE, the Advisory Board for Economic Relations Between Finland and Developing Countries, expressed its dissatisfaction with the plan, arguing that it would not bring development aid to the target figure of 0.7% of GNP.
In an interview in Suomen Sosiaalidemokraatti, President Koivisto said that the internationalization of trade was more an advantage than a disadvantage to Finland. There was nothing in sight in European economic development that would disturb trade between Finland and the Soviet Union.
The Democratic Alternative published its presidential election programme, which dealt with Finland's activities in the fields of disarmament and European integration, co-operation with the Soviet Union, policy on developing countries and environmental questions.
The Finnish Committee of the Hundred Association awarded its 1987 prize for peace work to Associate Professor Lars D. Eriksson for his efforts on behalf of the rights of foreigners and refugees living in Finland.
Speaking at the 70th national anniversary parade marking Finnish independence, the Commander of the south-eastern military district, Lieutenant-General Sakari Annala, expressed his concern that international peace education in kindergartens and schools could obscure our national realities, our recent history and recognized security factors in our independence.
Finland, Sweden and Norway jointly offered to negotiate with GATT on liberalizing agricultural trade. They are willing to reduce their subsidized agricultural exports, but less so to reduce import barriers protecting their own agriculture.
In a lecture to the Tampere Paasikivi Society, the head of the Security Police, Seppo Tiitinen, said that security considerations would not be an obstacle to increasing the number of refugees in Finland. However, if immigration to Finland was made too easy, there was the risk of an invasion of terrorism.
Speaking on TV, Foreign Minister Sorsa commented on the superpowers' agreement to remove medium- range missiles. This, he said, will increase security in Europe and Finland, in addition to improving prospects for a Nordic nuclear-weapons-free zone. He called for continued negotiations on reducing conventional weapons and short-range missiles.
Prime Minister Holkeri spoke at a defence seminar and said that political understanding must be maintained in questions of defence. A political decision must be reached concerning the purchase of new interceptor aircraft. He added that rising costs posed the biggest challenge to national defence.
Referring to the teaching of peace and ‘internationality' subjects in schools, the Commanding General of the Defence Forces, Jaakko Valtanen, said that aiming for a constructive internationalist outlook is part of our schools' work and rests on a strong national basis.
Parliament's Foreign Affairs committee received Minister for Foreign Trade Salolainen's report on Western European integration and its effects on Finland.
A meeting of the Nordic prime ministers, including Harri Holkeri, was held in Oslo. They considered EFTA the best channel for creating relations with the EC.
Meeting in Oslo, the Presidium of the Nordic Council set up an international committee to study how Nordic co-operation could be developed for international purposes. Its frame of reference will include environmental protection, development aid, cultural co-operation and Nordic representation in international organizations. The committee has two members from each country.
The association Democratic Lawyers complained to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about violations of foreigners' legal protection, in particular by the Aliens Office at the Ministry of the Interior.
In an interview with the Press Message Service, President Koivisto said that questions of security policy should be dealt with primarily through decisions of a political nature. Foreign policy and security policy had not changed in importance relative to each other. He urged reduction of naval armament and said he considered the elimination of medium and short-range nuclear missiles a historic step.
A delegation from the Democratic Alternative visited Moscow under the leadership of its chairperson Kristiina Halkola.
Presidential candidate Paavo Väyrynen said he considered our policy on refugees right, except that to solve the problem we should contribute a great deal more through the UN. With regard to so-called spontaneous refugees, Finland should comply carefully and consistently with international agreements.
A delegation from the Finnish People's Democratic League visited Moscow led by its chairman Esko Helle.
EFTA held its autumn meeting in Geneva. Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen led the Finnish delegation. He said that EFTA members would first formulate their relations with the EC within the framework of EFTA. Any questions not resolved in this way would be dealt with by each country through bilateral negotiations with the EC. Some amendments to sections of the EFTA Charter were approved at the meeting.
The UN official Jean Pierre Hocké, who is responsible for work with refugees, visited Finland and signed a co-operation agreement with the Finnish Red Cross and the Finnish Aid to Displaced Persons Society. It will ensure a better reception for refugees and aliens requesting asylum and improve their legal rights.
Foreign Minister Sorsa spoke in Parliament, where the Ministry for Foreign Affairs section of the 1988 budget was being discussed. He said that Finland had a good chance of becoming a member of the Security Council for the term 1989-90, that the development co-operation administration needs more posts, and that information on Finland needs to be increased.
The Paasikivi society arranged a panel debate featuring all five presidential candidates, who agreed on the basic lines of foreign policy. Kajanoja and Kivistö wanted more refugees to be admitted; Koivisto, Holkeri and Väyrynen supported the present policy on refugees. Koivisto said that Finland's joining the EC has not been under consideration. He, Holkeri and Kivistd accepted the idea of joining the EC if it is being developed into a pan-European body. Kajanoja and Kivistö demanded a reduction in defence spending. The other candidates were more positively disposed towards the defence forces.
Foreign Minister Sorsa issued a statement in which he said that Finland has followed with great concern the disturbances in Israel, Gaza and on the West Bank. He urged Israel to respect its obligations under the Geneva Convention regarding the protection of the civilian population.
The working group which had studied Finland's image abroad submitted its report to Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. According to the report, a high level committee should be set up to deal with the matter. Attention should be paid to the most important target countries.
Under Secretary of State Klaus Törnudd evaluated the past UN session at a media briefing. Finland, he said, was aiming to obtain a seat on the Security Council in 1989-90, although Canada and Greece were also seeking it. The question of refugee quotas had not been brought up to the extent expected. The UN'S financial difficulties would continue.
The government granted five companies exceptional permits to export spare parts to South Africa.
Kunto Kalpa (a pseudonym) claimed in a column in the daily Keskisuomalainen that Foreign Minister Sorsa had been behind attempts to alter the text of the communiqué issued during President Koivisto's visit to the Soviet Union. Officials at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs would never act in such matters without the Minister's permission.
Finland's CSCE ambassador Markku Reimaa evaluated the progress of the Vienna follow-up before the Christmas break. Most progress was needed in human rights questions, he said. Satisfactory progress has been made in disarmament and economic questions.
Foreign Minister Sorsa said in an interview in Uusi Suomi that Finnish development aid should be assessed as a whole, since it had grown considerably in recent years. How many countries should receive development aid from Finland was also a matter that needed pondering. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was trying to tighten up its inspection of how the aid was used, Sorsa added.
Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen visited Moscow, where he and Soviet Foreign Trade Minister Boris Aristov signed a trade agreement for 1988 on 22 December. The aim is to keep the value of trade on the 1987 level, i.e. 28-31 billion finnmarks. An effort will be made to reduce the surplus which presently exists in Finland's favour. Energy predominated in imports. The metal industry accounted for about half of total Finnish exports, whilst exports of consumer goods, agricultural produce and forest products were declining.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs published its plan of action and draft budget for 1989-92. The main recipients of development aid will be the same fifteen countries as before. During the period, fifteen billion finnmarks will be given in aid. The share of GNP represented by development aid will rise to 0.7% in 1989, after which it will remain the same. The goal at the UN is to become a member of the Security Council. Information activities at the Ministry and studies of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries will be increased.
A delegation led by Prime Minister Holkeri and including the chairpersons of all parliamentary groups and representatives of the Finnish-Soviet Friendship Society visited Leningrad. The delegation attended celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of Finnish independence, which had been recognized by the Bolshevik government. Officials from the two countries agreed on cooperation in relation to confidence- building measures in Arctic sea areas. The Soviets called for activity on the Finns' part in setting up joint ventures.