In his New Year's speech President Mauno Koivisto believed Finland is entering more difficult but also more interesting times. In regard to the defence policy of Finland Koivisto said that there is no disagreement about it and that disarmament does not carry a feeling of insecurity with it. Koivisto reminded the nation of the Finnish traditional moderate style in foreign policy even though times have slightly changed with the alleviation in superpower conflicts.
Prime Minister Harri Holkeri said that Finnish neutrality is of use both to the world and to us. However, the Finnish type of neutrality can not be adopted by other countries, since Finnish neutrality derives from Finland's unique culture and history.
Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio, who spoke in Turku, called for healthy Finnish self-esteem in the welfare-Europe. Integration and Europeanization do not threaten the Finnish way of life, but offer Finland new opportunities from which we can gain advantage.
Helsingin Sanomat said that the Air Force is at the moment preparing a presentation to the main headquarters of an organizational check of the weapon. According to the Commander of the Airforce, Air Vice-Marshal Pertti Jokinen deficiency has already now compelled the Air-force to rationalize its functions.
Finnish representatives who took part in the meeting arranged in Jerusalem under title "1990: Time of Peace” at the end of December 1989, complained to the Israeli Government about the incident which occurred on 29.12.1989. Deputy Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanjahu conveyed the statement signed by the Finnish group to Prime Minister Jitzhak Shamir. The statement condemned violence and demanded the immediate release of the captured.
Instead of the risks professor Raimo Väyrynen emphasized the opportunities brought by disarmament in the newspaper Demari. New threats to Finnish security have been exaggerated. Debate on the Finnish security policy is adopting new features. The essential question seems to be how the changed international environment affects Finnish security decisions. According to Väyrynen there is no question about increasing defence expenditures but putting expenditures into order. In Finland we should estimate when the international change has advanced so much that Finland can start cutting her military potential.
The Minister of Defence does not require additional financing for fighters. Yet, from the beginning of the next tear, the funds allocated to material acquisitions must be raised to the level desired by the parlamentarial defence committee, amounting to FIM 2.9 billion. In this year's budget the branch of the Minister of Defence has been allocated FIM 7.4 billion, of which 2.4 billion have been intended for material acquisitions.
In the newspaper Tiedonantaja the Chairman of the Finnish Communist Party (SKP) Esko-Juhani Tennilä demands cooperation for solving the global problems. According to him the debts of the developing countries should be forgiven. Eastern Europe should not be forgotten in the integration discussions, and least of all the economic cooperation with the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Finland should stick to the right of self- determination.
One third of the UN military observers will be demobilized from Namibia by the decision of the Security Council. The decision applies also to Finnish military observers. There are 15 Finns in the UN Namibia operation.
The first Government report on the human rights policy was introduced to the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament by Foreign Minister Paasio. Paasio sees that the resolution of the CSCE follow-up meeting has offered Finland more opportunities to interfere in the human rights questions of other countries. According to the Foreign Minister "quiet diplomacy creates the best results”, in other words confidential bilateral discussions bring better results than excessive self-praise in form of declarations and verdicts.
Finland wants to increase economic defence cooperation with three other neutral countries, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. According to the Defence Minister of Finland Norrback (Swedish People's Party) they have tried to speed up the quadruple negotiations because the neutral countries do not wish to be too dependent on the defence material production of the military alliances. At the moment the countries chart possibilities for cooperation on official and ministerial levels.
The President of the Republic appointed the Finnish group to the intergovernmental economic commission of Finland and the Soviet Union. Prime Minister Holkeri continues as Chairman, Deputy Chairmen are Suominen and Liikanen, members of Parliament. Also 20 members with substitutes were appointed.
Finland should allocate part of its development aid to environmental investments in Poland, in Baltic nations and in other areas close to Finland, stated the Coalition Party Secretary Pekka Kivelä. This would drop Finnish development aid under the UN recommendation of 0.7 per cent of gnp.
The clearing system will be abandoned in trade between Finland and Czechoslovakia. The President of the Republic authorized ambassador Yrjölä to conclude an agreement which discontinues the payments treaty between the two countries. The treaty expires in the end of March.
In Helsinki 14 Estonian organizations agreed on forming a joint consultative committee. The initiative came from Suomalaisuuden Liitto (the Finnish League). The meeting outlined increasing the amount of joint information services, arranging visits and participating in the collection for Estonia.
The Swedish People's Party suggested that Finland should join the European Environmental Agency of the European Communities.
Prime Minister Holkeri said in a radio interview that Finland must prepare to support the East European countries with considerable economic aid. Finland is about to join the European Bank for Restoration and Development which will be formed on the initiative of France, and will assist the East European countries suffering from upheavals.
The formation negotiations of the European Bank for Restoration and Development EBRD were held in Paris. According to the leader of the Finnish delegation, Deputy Director General Leif Fagernäs, from the Finnish standpoint it is more expedient to support Eastern Europe through a multinational organization than bilaterally.
Stepan Sitaryan, the Soviet chairman of the Finnish-Soviet economic commission visited Finland with a delegation. Environmental questions and the reconstruction project of the nickel melting plants in the Kola Peninsula were the most important questions. A working group was set up for the project.
Finland and the CMEA-countries considered the possibilities to develop the environmental legislation in a conference of environmental law in Helsinki. The seminar aimed at discovering methods to sue violators of environmental law. Finland was ready to offer the CMEA-countries administrative and technical knowledge.
Finland and Sweden have dedicated this year to each other. The initiative for this came from Förening Norden and Pohjola-Norden and the Swedish-Finnish cultural center of Hanasaari in Espoo. In 1990 it has been 50 years since Sweden organized assistance to Finland who was at war and started the war children operations.
Doctor Helen Wallace who is in charge for issues concerning the Western Europe in the Royal Institute of International Affairs visited the Finnish-English Trade Association. Wallace regarded the EES as an intermediate stage by which the ground of future activities can be tested. She also said that the real consolidation of EFTA would require giving supranational power to the organization.
The President appointed a delegation to negotiate the membership of Finland in the European Particle Research Institute Cern.
President appointed Councellor of Foreign Affairs Bo Ådahl as the new Ambassador to Bucharest, the capital of Rumania.
President Koivisto appointed a delegation to negotiate a steel contract with United States.
The Swedish People's Party hoped that Finland would invite Vaclav Havel, the new President of Czechoslovakia to Finland. The visit should be connected to Havel's visits to other Nordic countries. The invitation of President Havel has been suggested among other things in a parliamentary question.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen estimated in the newspaper Uusi Suomi that remarkable amount of the cooperation subordinated to the joint commission of Finland and CMEA will decrease and part of the working groups will be suppressed. This is result from focusing on enterprise-level cooperation.
In the 50th anniversary of the "January Engagement”, i.e. the joint declaration of cooperation between SAK and STK, the Government Arbitrator Kallio expected European economic integration to have effects on the labour market policy. "With increasing internationalization the agreement branches, principles of unionizing and the terms of agreements will reflect the corresponding order in the labour markets of European branches.”
The chief editor of Turun Sanomat Jarmo Virmavirta mentioned in his paper that Europe is in such state of ferment that a second Helsinki CSCE meeting would be of use. He told Finland to be prepared to offer its services but not to work actively for the project.
Prime Minister Holkeri who attended in lieu of the Foreign Minister, gave a statement in which he found Finland to be concerned about the developments in Soviet Caucasia.
In an interview published in the newspaper Demari, President Koivisto said that environmental questions will demand international contributions from Finland in the future and that citizens should prepare themselves for this.
A poll by the Planning Committee for National Defence indicated that Finns have grown tired of low profile foreign policy. Discontent seemed to be connected with Paasio's term as Foreign Minister. The FCMA-pact was regarded as positive by the majority. Threat of war had grown among the Finns and their trust in Finland's chances in conventional warfare had increased.
The Finnish share in the capital stock of the Eastern Europe Development Bank will probably rise to FIM 720 million. The sum is 1.5 per cent of the capital stock of the Bank which is FIM 48 billion. The goal of Finland and the three other Nordic countries is to have one of the 16 seats on the board.
Deputy Town Manager Tuomioja who lectured at the seminar of the Finnish-Soviet society estimated the change in relations between Finland and Soviet Union, He said that in the long run the FCMA-pact will become useless, and that it is also an obstacle to Finnish membership in the EC.
Soviet Minister of the Environment Nikolai Vorontsov's agreement to the extensive waterway cooperation project arrived. The project was proposed in December by Minister of the Environment Bärlund in Moscow. The Finns will cooperate in working out water pollution control programmes for the Kola Peninsula, Karelia and the Baltic and Leningrad areas.
The Foreign Ministry held an extraordinary regional meeting concerning Eastern Europe in Helsinki. Foreign Minister Paasio explained the results of the meeting. The CSCE was considered to be the best tool for building the future of the Eastern Europe and Europe in general. Regarding the critique Finnish foreign policy has received recently, Paasio said that it is not conducted for domestic use only.
The presiding officers of the Nordic Council in Stockholm decided to respond to the proposal made by the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and to send a delegation of seven members to Moscow later in the spring.
On an occasion of the Euro-Club researcher Risto E.J. Penttilä suggested the FCMA-pact defining the relations between Finland and the Soviet Union be replaced by a new agreement in order to smooth the way of Finland into the European Community.
The director of the law-drafting department in the Ministry of Justice Leif Sevon introduced the forthcoming negotiations together with Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen and department head of the Foreign Ministry Veli Sundbäck. In the information meeting Salolainen supposed that two thirds of the Parliament could vote for the EES-treaty.
Foreign Minister Paasio gave a statement in which he noted that Finland has with contentment received an announcement from President F. de Klerk of South-Africa informing about the release of the former chairman of ANC.
Foreign Minister Paasio, who gave the opening speech in the Security Council -seminar, arranged by the Institute of International Affairs, stated that it is useful to examine the established working methods of the UN Security Council in the light of new ideas and suggestions.
The Soviet Embassy in Helsinki released a notice which commented on the FCMA-debate. The notice cited the speech given by the Soviet President and party leader Gorbachev last October at Finlandia Hall, in which the party leader found the agreement quite revolutionary for the relations between our countries and in accordance with the realities of our time.
The meeting of the Nordic conservative and moderate right-wing parties in Copenhagen stressed that the Nordic countries must intensify their environmental cooperation with the East European countries, above all to protect the Baltic Sea regions and the Kola peninsula.
At the opening of the 1990 session of Parliament President Koivisto concentrated on the economic integration of Europe and the problems this will cause to the legislative work of the Parliament. In his answer Speaker of the Parliament Sorsa believed the Parliament will get through its part in the integration development. Sorsa was worried about the low esteem of Parliament in Finland.
Finland signed the Social Charter of the European Council in Strasbourg.
The composition of the integration committee expanded when President Mauno Koivisto decided on including political party representatives. Before the change 43 members were included, now the figure is 52. The Chairman of the committee is Foreign Trade Minister Pertti Salolainen.
The 50th anniversary of friendship municipality activities between Finland and Sweden was celebrated in Helsinki. The Swedish Royal family was represented by Prince Bertil and his wife.
A research made by Taloustutkimus Oy revealed that nearly 60 per cent of Finns would like to increase cooperation with the European Community. 31 per cent stood for the present level of cooperation and 4 per cent was for reducing cooperation.
Nature protection organizations of the Baltic Sea littoral states had a meeting in Helsinki. The meeting accepted tentative rules and organization for the non-political Coalition Clean Baltic-organization. 16.2. ended the meeting of the Baltic Commission which accepted 13 recommendations aimed at improving the condition of the sea. The most important recommendations are those restricting the burden coming from the land.
Foreign Minister Paasio sent a telegram to the former chairman of ANC Mandela in which he congratulated him on his freedom. He invited Mandela to Finland.
Finland and the Soviet Union agreed in the details of oil and chemical destruction measures on the Baltic Sea. The agreement took force immediately. The plan was based on the agreement signed in connection with President Gorbachev's visit in October.
The Kambodzha committee handed Foreign Minister Paasio a letter in which they hoped Finland would help the country to reach a negotiated solution and assist in the reconstruction work.
The leading official-level negotiators of the EFTA-countries gathered in Stockholm. The subject of the meeting was the EES negotiation situation.
The changes in Eastern Europe give reason to fear the strong immigration pressures of the masses, said Minister of Labour Matti Puhakka when speaking in the Nordic Refugee and Immigration Conference in Stockholm. According to him the welfare-states should take responsibility on political refugees and refugees created by economic displacement.
Finland offered to take care of the laboratory tests for the convention banning totally the use of chemical weapons. Under-Secretary of State Karhilo presented the offer in a session of the disarmament conference in Geneva.
According to Foreign Minister Paasio, Finland greets with satisfaction the recent statements concerning the summoning of the CSCE summit.
The EFTA negotiators introduced their unofficial proposal to a joint decision making model to the EC Commission in the meeting that ended on 22.2. in Brussels. The EFTA countries did not reach consensus on the EES decision making model, thus no official proposal was issued.
The Secretary General of EFTA Reisch visited Finland and wanted to speed up the EES-negotiations, since right now the countries have political strength to take the negotiations to the end. States who want exceptions will face negative attitudes in the negotiations.
President Gorbachev's political advisor Vadim Zagladin said in an interview published by Turun Sanomat that the FCMA-treaty can be amended in case the development in the cooperation between the two countries requires the changes. The clause concerning Germany can also then be reconsidered.
Under-Secretary of State Kai Helenius was appointed new Ambassador of Finland to West-Germany.
The Chairman of the Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Markus Aaltonen attended a meeting arranged by the international CSCE committee in Brussels. Aaltonen proposed establishing a permanent CSCE organisation and founding a CSCE secretariat in Helsinki.
The 38th session of the Nordic Council was held in Reykjavik. European integration. The liberation of Eastern Europe and environmental questions were central topics.
The Finnish Government assists Poland with 53 million FIM and Rumania with FIM 6 million. The Government made the decision on including these appropriations in the supplementary budget.
Admiral Jan Klenberg took up his post as the Commanding General of the Defence Forces.
Foreign Minister Paasio took part in the foreign ministers meeting of non-aligned and neutral countries in Valletta, Malta. The ministers supported holding the 1990 CSCE summit in Vienna.
The Committee of Defence Policy submitted its report to Minister of Defence Norrback. Both in the views of Norrback and in the committee Finland must still maintain "sufficient defensive ability”. Additionally, the Finnish defence policy must remain predictable. Commanding General of the Defence Forces Klenberg estimates that among other things reaching the 1.5 per cent share of gnp in the material acquisitions, recommended by the parlamentarial defence committee, would make possible both the purchasing of the fighters and the development of the ground- and sea forces.
Nordic peace organizations delivered an appeal on behalf of a Nordic non-nuclear zone to Foreign Minister Paasio in Turku.
The meeting of the Nordic foreign ministers took place in Turku. The meeting considered the UN, the international situation in Europe, in the Near-East and South-Africa, etc. On 7.3. the Nordic countries decided to continue boycotting South Africa. In the meeting, the Foreign Minister of Denmark Elleman-Jensen offered EC-membership to other Nordic countries.
The newspapers made public that the Estonian leaders had conveyed to President Koivisto the decision made by the Supreme Council of the republic, in which the Soviet Union is requested to start negotiations in order to restore the independence of Estonia.
Joint agreement on environmental cooperation between Finland and Poland was signed in Helsinki. The basic idea of the agreement is the implementation of Finnish know-how in Polish environmental protection and energy consumption.
The law on the export and transit of defence material was ratified in Presidential session. The new law overrules the law of 1938.
The FCMA-pact must change to correspond to the present times in order to express things of essential importance in it said the Speaker Sorsa in an interview published by newspaper Turun Sanomat. However, he didn't consider the matter very urgent.
Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen believed that Finland will soon join the European Monetary System EMS. The subject is already expected to come up during this year.
According to Prime Minister Holkeri and Under-Secretary of State Aarno Karhilo Finland can recognize Lithuania only after Lithuania and the Soviet Union have reached a consensus on how to arrange the independence process.
The EES-report of the Government was submitted to Parliament. For the first time the report recorded in detail the reservations which Finland will stick to in the EES-negotiations.
The Parliament criticized heavily the review submitted by the Finnish delegation on the activities of the Nordic Council in the year 1989.
The Government in some degree softened its strictly negative attitude towards Finland's possible membership in the EC. In the Government's opinion there could and should be debate on the subject even though it still trusts the EFTA-card when negotiating on the formation of the European Economic Space. Foreign Minister Paasio explained the importance of discussion by the fact that the development of the EC in the changing Europe cannot be anticipated by reading old declarations and charters.
The Parliament discussed the Government report on the EES. The Parliament was nearly unanimous in the fact that the best alternative for Finland at the moment is to negotiate about the European Economic Space EES. The Parliament was occupied by the question of whether Finland is moving towards membership in the EC and what will be the role of the Parliament in the decision making of the future EES.
The Government of Finland promised to increase aid to the ANC, the African National Congress that operates in South-Africa. Above all the organization will be assisted to settle refugees. Foreign Minister Paasio reported the decision to the Chairman of the ANC Mandela on his way to Johannesburg.
Chairman of GATT Dunkel visited Finland at the invitation of the Minister for Foreign Trade Salolainen. He had meetings with President Koivisto, representatives of industry and commerce and all the GATT-officials of the Nordic countries.
The official EES negotiations ended in Brussels. No mutual understanding emerged on how to enact the laws in the economic area.
Namibia gained independence. A delegation headed by Foreign Minister Paasio took the Finnish recognition decision to Namibia. Finland and Namibia established diplomatic relations immediately on the diplomatic level. Minister Councellor Lintonen was appointed the Finnish Ambassador to Namibia. Finland also cancelled the economic sanctions imposed three years ago, when Namibia was ruled by South-Africa. During his visit to Namibia 17.-22.3. Paasio had a meeting with President de Klerk of South-Africa. On 22.3. Finland and the Republic of Namibia signed an agreement on starting developmental cooperation.
Foreign Minister Paasio attended an extraordinary meeting of the EC ministerial committee in Lisbon. The meeting considered the changes in Eastern and Central Europe and their effects on the Council of Europe.
An intermediate report of GATT was introduced in Parliament. According to it Finland must thoroughly renew her present agricultural policy.
Chief of the Political Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs Jaakko Blomberg attended the meeting for the officials of the foreign ministries held for the first time on the territory of South Africa. Blomberg saw the line of South African President de Klerk as encouraging and believed South Africa will abolish apartheid.
The Government of Finland expressed the hope that the Lithuanian struggle towards independence would lead to negotiations between the Soviet Government and Lithuania, and that the parties would try to avoid exacerbating actions, said Political Under-Secretary of State Karhilo from the Foreign Ministry when referring to the appeal for support the Lithuanian Parliament made on 23rd March.
Finland has granted China an interest free loan of 22 million FIM. The money will be used for building a cable factory in the South of China.
Foreign Minister Paasio said in a TV-news interview that the different attitudes of Finland and the other Nordic countries towards the Lithuanian appeal are due to history and geography and Finnish expert knowledge.
Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen considered harmful the writings of the Danish Foreign Minister Elleman-Jensen in the Nordic papers (e.g. Hufvudstadsbladet on 26.3), by which he instigates the other Nordic countries to apply directly for EC-membership.
The leader of the World Zionist Organisation, Simcha Dinitz, visited Helsinki. He had unofficial negotiations with the Government on the immigration of Soviet Jews to Israel via Finland. Under-Secretary of State Karhilo from the Foreign Ministry said that the Finnish representatives informed Dinitz that Finland will allow free transit through its territory, according to the international principles.
The Center for Finnish Business and Policy Studies EVA, wants to develop the Baltic area into a strong economic region in order to complete the European integration, said the managing director of EVA Sipponen in Helsinki.
Israel's Ambassador to Helsinki, Asher Naim, discussed the general situation of the Jewish people in the Soviet Union with Foreign Minister Paasio and Minister of the Interior Rantanen (SD). The meeting was arranged at the request of Naim. The possible transit of the Jews was also discussed.
In the UN Security Council Finland requested Israel to abstain from settling Soviet Jews in the occupied Palestine areas. The Council was addressed by Ambassador Törnudd.
The leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organisation expressed their satisfaction with the negative statement Finland gave concerning the settlement of the Jews in the occupied Palestine areas. The leader of the PLO Helsinki Office, Zuheir Al-Wazir, conveyed the gratitude and contentment of the PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the Finnish statement in the UN Security Council.
Prime Minister Holkeri visited Ireland at the invitation of the Irish Prime Minister Charles Haughey. The main topic of the visit was the present stage of the talks between the EC and EFTA. Prime Minister Haughey was ready to promote the negotiations on European Economic Space within tight schedule.
Official FCMA-delegation headed by the Minister of Environment Kovaltschuk of the Soviet Republic of Russia visited Finland. The guests attended the celebrations of the 42nd anniversary of the FCMA-pact in Rovaniemi and the Kola-seminar arranged by the Finnish- Soviet Society. Minister Kovaltschuk had meetings with the Speaker of the Parliament Sorsa and Minister of the Environment Bärlund.
The Executive Secretary of the European Council Catherine Lalumiere visited Finland. She was invited by Foreign Minister Paasio. During her visit she had meetings with President Koivisto, Foreign Minister Paasio, Minister of Justice Tarja Halonen, Prime Minister Holkeri and in Parliament with some representatives of opposition groups. Subjects during the visit were the relations of the European Council with Eastern Europe, CSCE, European Community and the European Agreement on Human Rights as well as the Social Charter of EC.
The 83rd meeting of International Parliament Union IPU was held in Nicosia the capital of Cyprus. The Finnish delegation was headed by MP, Couneillor of State Johannes Virolainen. The parliamentarians of the world condemned the Jewish colonies on the areas occupied by Israel and the laundering of the narcotics money.
The will of EFTA to assist in joining the Eastern and the Central-European states to the market economy system led to the formation of a development fund in favour of Yugoslavia. The capital stock of the fund is worth 400 million FIM. The Finnish share is 56 million.
According to five Vyborg Tradition Societies the Karelian League should launch negotiations on the returning of Karelia to Finnish territory. The initiative will be considered on 21.4. in the meeting of the League and before that in the advisory council of the League. On 4.4. the Vice Chairman of the League, representative Riitta Uosukainen expressed her regret about the Return Karelia -initiative made by the five member societies of the Karelian League. She said that foreign policy does not belong to the hemisphere of the League.
In the end of the two-day meeting in Geneva the six EFTA-countries announced in a joint declaration their readiness to launch negotiations with the EC on forming of the EES as soon as possible.
Leader of the PLO Helsinki office Al-Wazir disapproved of the decision in which Finland accepted the passage of Soviet Jews. Finland has issued transit visas to one hundred Soviet Jewish people from the area of Leningrad. The Parliament Friendship Group of Arab Nations submitted to the Government an appeal concerning the transit visas of the Soviet Jews. The appeal stressed that the visas should be three-month visas so that the migrants have an opportunity to choose the final destination of their journey. The Soviet Jews should be given the possibility to stay in Finland. The Government should strongly aim at the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
The Foreign Minister appointed a committee to prepare the Finnish participation in the 1992 UN Environment and Development Conference in Brazil.
In trade relations with Poland and Czechoslovakia Finland changed from bilateral to normal multilateral trade.
In an interview published in the newspaper Kainuun Sanomat President Koivisto emphasized that the collapse of the Berlin wall did not abolish the sources of conflict in Europe. Even after the planned arms reductions there will be more weapons in Europe than in any other area in the world. Under the circumstances it is of vital importance to maintain good relations with neighbours and to be careful in expressions of opinion. Finland has an important part in the cooperation aimed at improving the condition of the Baltic and in solving other environmental problems. In regard to the EC the President said that Finland does not seek EC-membership, but is negotiating the European Economic Space with other EFTA countries.
At the press conference of the editors for foreign affairs President Koivisto calmed the Return Kareliadebate by saying that Finland has three separate peace treaties in which the borders of the country are defined. In addition to this the President warned about excessive enthusiasm when commenting on the question of the Baltic countries. On MTV news he also brought to light that a summit will be arranged in connection with the next CSCE follow-up meeting.
Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen gave the closing speech in the Economic CSCE in Bonn. He said that Finland is ready to examine the systems maintaining permanent economic relations. Above all we should examine how the already established institutions could handle the mechanisms of CSCE economic relations. About 600 representatives from 35 countries attended the CSCE economic meeting in Bonn. The meeting lasted over three weeks. Purpose of the meeting was to create ideals for free market economy, but also to obtain some practical results. Finnish delegation was chaired by Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen.
The Social Committee of the Parliament visited Brussels where it met the EC Commission, EC Economy and Social Commission and representatives of Finnish Employers and Employees. The Committee visited also Denmark and Strasbourg. The Committee acquainted itself with different approaches in EES development work.
The Centre group of the Nordic Council suggested the council have two sessions per year, one spring session and one autumn session. The autumn session would replace the extraordinary session that has been arranged in autumn during the last years.
MP Johannes Virolainen, the retiring chairman of the Karelian League gave a speech on the 50th anniversary of the League. He argued that the recent discussion on the restoration of independence to the Baltic countries has in Finland led to the demands of the return of Karelia. He expected the Government to act in the interest of the nation in the issue.
In the annual general meeting of the Karelian League the majority voted in favour of the leaders who in the Return Karelia-question took up the stand that dealing with the matter belongs to the Government.
The Chairman of the Centre Party Paavo Väyrynen suggested in the meeting of the Chairmen of Nordic Centre Parties in Stockholm that the Nordic countries form their own Nordic Community beside the European Communities. According to Väyrynen the objective level of the Nordic cooperation should be made more ambitious than before.
The meeting of foreign ministers held in Copenhagen at the request of Danish Foreign Minister Elleman-Jensen did not produce a joint Lithuania-resolution. According to Finland a harsh statement on the situation of Lithuania was not well- founded at the moment.
About one third of the conscientious objectors, nearly 300, stayed away from service according to the information received by the Union of CO's. Reason for the strike was that the proposals of the CO follow-up commission were not satisfactory to them.
Finland expected in the UN that improvement in superpower relations and development in Eastern and Central Europe will create better opportunities to solve the problems of the developing countries. Under-Secretary of State Helenius spoke on behalf of Finland in a special UN session dealing with international economic cooperation.
Ended the environmental meeting of eight Arctic countries in Canada. On the initiative of Finland the meeting decided to arrange an Arctic environmental meeting on ministerial level later in the spring in Rovaniemi.
The Finnish Government cooperates in making the developing countries abandon technology that depletes the ozone layer. The Government Ministerial Committee for Economic Policy engaged Finland to participate in the financing system under formation.
In spite of the membership in the EC it is important to continue Nordic cooperation and rationalization of different branches. In addition to this it is essential to realize that we do not know the future of the EC, said the managing director of the Research Institute of Industry and Commerce Pentti Vartia when publishing a joint Nordic research on growth and integration from the Nordic perspective.
Foreign Minister Paasio gave a speech in the Baltic Environment Conference of Metal Workers and renewed his suggestion to reserve 0.3 per cent of gnp for environmental cooperation.
Ambassador Jack Maresca emphasized in the Paasikivi-Society that the CSCE process can not replace the functions of NATO in Europe, even though the CSCE is useful in increasing security in Europe.
18th Nordic Workers Congress was held in Helsinki. More than 200 leaders of the Nordic Social Democratic Parties and workers union leaders considered the fading support figures of the Social Democrats. The Congress gave a joint resolution supporting the Baltic nations and decided to demand the Soviet Union drop its plans of moving the nuclear test activities to the islands of Novaja Zemlja in the Arctic Ocean.
The EC Parliament representative in the Nordic Worker's Congress John Tomlinson expected that the unrealistic promises the EC Commission has given to the EFTA countries will harm the future EES-negotiations. He said that the Euro-Parliament will not grant EFTA the right to formulate the draft resolutions of the European Community.
The President and the Government improved their communication in foreign policy issues. After the official meetings on Fridays the President and the Government will stay to discuss current topics in foreign policy.
The European Commission of Economics, which is subordinate to the UN, decided to cut down its operations in Geneva. From now on the Commission will concentrate on environmental protection, transport, trade statistics and questions concerning the simplification of trade policy procedures and economic prognosis. The assembly of ECE elected Ambassador Mennander the chairman.
The Foreign Minister of Iran and Minister for Trade and Industry Suominen signed an agreement on joint economic, industrial and technological cooperation between Finland and Iran.
More than 300 Finnish executives took part in the concluding Europe of Business Administration- academy congress in Brussels. The congress was arranged by Turku junior chamber of commerce. Also Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen and Minister of State Kanerva attended the conference. EC Comissar van Miert, Salolainen, Ilkka Kanerva and former Minister Councellor Vladimirov acted as opening speakers. Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen reviewed in his speech that the deficit in the balance of trade demands quick and grave solutions. He suggested increasing indirect taxation and raising government payments.
It appeared that the integration report the Government submitted to Parliament was incomplete. The report did not mention that also some political cooperation of a general nature has been planned to be included in the European Economic Space under formation. This came out from the letter of Secretary General of EFTA Georg Reisch.
President Koivisto ratified the Human Rights Agreement of the European Council. The agreement and nearly all of its supplementary protocols take effect in Finland on 10.5. when Foreign Minister Paasio deposits the ratification document with the Executive Secretary of the EC in Strasbourg. Finland made one reservation in the agreement, concerning verbal court proceedings.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund visited Poland. During the visit an agreement on environmental cooperation between Finland and Poland was signed.
Chairmen of the Ingrian Leagues of Estonia, Leningrad and Karelia arrived in Helsinki at the invitation of the Suomi Society to discuss matters concerning migration and visits of Ingrian people to Finland.
The Defence Committee criticized the Government integration report for not expressing an opinion on the effects of the possible EES-arrangements on Finnish security policy. The Committee found it important to define the effects the integration development has on Finnish neutrality, on the conditions of state treaties and independent decision making and on the fact whether the integration development requires re-estimations in the field of security policy.
Parliament was concerned about the possible negative effects of the projects financed by the World Bank. 140 representatives from all parliamentary parties submitted to the Government a written inquiry on the subject.
While addressing the parliamentary assembly of the EC President Koivisto expressed his solidarity with the independence struggle of the Baltic nations. He hoped the Baltic nations would find the right methods when striving for independence, to which they are entitled by the constitution of the Soviet Union. According to the President, however, Finland can not act as a mediator between the Soviet Union and the Baltic countries in the dispute.
The Coalition party group decided that Finland could become a full member in the European Community if the established goals in the ongoing negotiations about the European Economic Space are not reached.
Foreign Minister Paasio left the EC Secretary General Lalumiere with the human rights agreement confirmed by Finland. This means that the amendments of the agreement came into force in Finland.
Prime Minister Holkeri visited the European Community in Brussels where he had meetings with the Chairman of EC Commission Jaques Delors, Chairman of the EC Parliament Enrique Baron Crespon and with the EC Comissars.
On a private visit to France President Koivisto had a meeting with President Mitterrand. The subjects during the discussion were the present state of Europe, European integration and the development of the Finnish-French relations.
Foreign Minister Paasio attended the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Nordic countries and the so called front line or SADCC-countries of Southern Africa in Oslo. The meeting decided to support sanctions against South-Africa until fundamental changes have taken place in the apartheid system.
Foreign Minister Paasio attended the meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Nordic countries and the so called front line or SADCC-countries of Southern Africa in Oslo. The meeting decided to support sanctions against South-Africa until fundamental changes have taken place in the apartheid system.
The delegation of the disarmament committee of the Socialist International headed by the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Kalevi Sorsa visited Washington.
Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund and Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen from Finland participated in the Bergen Environment Conference. The Bergen talks were one in a series of four meetings arranged by the UN in which the goals of the three year-old Brundtland Commission were examined.
In an article published in the newspaper Turun Sanomat Foreign Minister Paasio said that some time ago Finland has taken initiatives to create permanent organs in the CSCE. He suggested that the first step could be to decide about regular meetings of the foreign ministers between the member countries.
President Koivisto and Mrs. Koivisto visited the Netherlands at the invitation of Queen Beatrix. Foreign Minister Paasio was one in the President's retinue. During the visit the Baltic question, environmental questions and the creation of a new security system in Europe were discussed. In President's opinion the discussions on the new security system could be launched in the 1992 follow-up meeting of CSCE.
President decided to establish an embassy in Namibia and appointed Ministerial Councellor Kirsti Lintonen the first Ambassador to Namibia.
The 35th joint meeting of the intergovernmental economic commission between Finland and the Soviet Union was held in Leningrad and in the Kola Peninsula. The Finnish delegation headed by Prime Minister Holkeri had twenty members. Environmental matters, questions on exchange and environment were the subjects of the meeting. On 22.5. the meeting signed an agreement which allows the joint ventures to trade in exchangeable currencies.
The PLO appealed to Finland for direct support. According to the Foreign Ministry Finland assists Palestine through UN organisations.
According to the Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen who spoke in a briefing the support for overproduction in agriculture will stop if the goals in GATT Uruguay round are reached.
The Nordic Council would like to have more power of decision. The subject was brought up by the presiding officers in a joint meeting with the cooperative ministers in Vaasa.
The Government granted Nicaragua a development loan of FIM 65 million and 16.7 million FIM to India as interest support.
Foreign Minister Paasio paid an official visit to Egypt. The visit was hosted by the second Foreign Minister of Egypt Boutros Ghali. During the visit Foreign Minister Paasio noted on 24.5. that if they like, Soviet Jews can also settle in Finland.
President authorized Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen to sign the foundation charter of the European Bank for Restoration and Development at the ministerial meeting of OECD in Paris on 29.5.
Estonia and Finland concluded an agreement on cooperation in culture, science and education.
The Foreign Ministry informed that Finland has participated in the discussion concerning the new security system of Europe by suggesting Helsinki for the post of regular foreign minister and officials meetings. The other CSCE countries will soon receive a proposal from Finland, according to which the autumn summit of 35 countries in Paris should decide about the arrangement of the meetings.
The economic-technical joint commission of Finland and Iran held a meeting in Tehran. The meeting focused on cooperation in the wood industry, public health care services, energy production, the metal industry and in telecommunications.
Foreign Trade Minister of Canada John C. Crosbie visited Finland at the invitation of Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. Minister Crosbie had meetings with President Koivisto, Prime Minister Holkeri and Foreign Minister Paasio. The purpose of the meeting was to find possible cooperation partners for trade with the Soviet Union and to create a base for Canadian investments in Finland. During the visit some economic agreements between Canada and Finland were concluded as well as agreements concerning scientific and technological cooperation.
The UN Security Council which gathered in Geneva postponed the decision on sending observers to Gaza and the West Bank of Jordan. The Finnish Ambassador to the UN who chaired the meeting said that Finland supports sending observers to the area.
The Economic Information Office published a poll on the EC. According to it 60 per cent of the citizens would be prepared to have Finland join the EC. Only onefifth thought Finland is already a member. The impression that EC membership would have a positive effect on the Finnish foreign policy had especially increased among the people.
Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen signed the Document of the East European Bank in the Elysee Palace in Paris.
The OECD ministerial meeting was held in Paris. The Finnish delegation was headed by Minister of Finance Matti Louekoski and Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen. Finnish agricultural policy received severe criticism when the OECD presented its report. The yearly support to agriculture in Finland exceeds FIM 19 billion. The share of the support is even as high as 72 per cent and is nearly double when compared to the level of OECD-countries. In his address to the meeting Minister Louekoski expressed his concern about the Finnish balance of payments.
Minister of Defence Norrback considered the acquisition of new interceptors to be essential. In his opinion Finnish air space can not be protected otherwise. In a televised Parliament question time Norrback stressed further, that this is not an arms build-up, but maintaining present equipment.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the EC Parliament accepted a resolution which rejected several demands considered essential by the EFTA countries.
In an open letter directed to President Koivisto, Doctor Zuheir Alwazir, representative of the PLO in Helsinki, demanded the Finnish Government withdraw the decision which allows the Soviet Jews to use Finland for transit to Israel.
The Finnish Government expressed its concern to the Soviet Union about the environmental effects caused by the possibly continuing nuclear tests on the islands of Novaja Zemlya. In the statement Foreign Minister Paasio hoped that neutral observers would be allowed in the nuclear test areas of the Soviet Union and the United States above all to follow the security arrangements of the tests.
After Sweden suggested Stockholm for the permanent post of the CSCE secretariat Foreign Minister Paasio stated that if a decision to establish a permanent CSCE secretariat is made, Finland will naturally offer Helsinki for the post.
Satisfaction with the handling of the foreign policy sank rapidly among citizens. Only 67 per cent of Finns were satisfied with Finnish foreign policy. Six months ago there were still 75 per cent satisfied and a year ago 85 per cent. Especially the young have become more critical. The condition of the environment and the dissolution of the Soviet Union were threathening to the Finns. This came out from the study made by Taleustutkimus Oy for the Planning Commission for Information on National Defence. For the study one thousand 15-69 year-old Finns were interviewed.
The CSCE conference of human dimension gathered in Copenhagen. The foreign ministers of Europe, Canada and the United States appointed a committee to prepare the summit of 35 countries which is held in Paris on 19.-21.11. The committee starts work on 10th July in Vienna. From the Nordic countries Sweden, Finland and Denmark offered to act as host countries for the permanent CSCE secretariat. Foreign Minister Paasio who spoke for Finland proposed sending CSCE observers to the member countries to follow the implementation of human rights in them.
The Parliament Committee for Foreign Affairs completed the 53-paged report on the Government's integration account. The committee demanded four conditions in the EES-negotiations: restrictions on foreign ownership, opportunities for more strict environmental legislation than the rest of Europe, national territorial policy, social security and occupational safety and health.
The Nordic Year of the Environment and Biology was inaugurated on World's Environment Day. The objective of the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers who declared the special year is to make the 23 million citizens of the Northern countries to struggle for a better environment.
Social Democratic party conference in Lappeenranta accepted the international political declaration. According to the declaration the SDP expected Finland to reduce armaments and defence expenditures which means reductions in marks from the present level. The SDP did not give a clear interpretation on whether this means dropping the acquisition of new fighters. The SDP elaborated its standpoint to the Baltic question by saying that the SDP supports the right of the Baltic countries to gain independence through negotiations. The Party criticized the section dealing with European integration for being too constricted and obliged the party council to arrange a separate meeting on the subject. For the first time environmental protection was included in Finnish foreign policy goals. The leadership of the party remained the same in the meeting.
Finnish and Soviet Ministers of the Environment Bärlund and Vorontsov had a meeting in ban. According to Vorontsov the discharges in Kola will be reduced by reducing production. Vorontsov says, however, that the problem will not be completely removed since the technology is outdated. He also suspected that the opinions of industry weigh more than the opinions of a Minister of the Environment.
At the SDP party conference in Lappeenranta, Parliament Speaker Sorsa said that Finland should reconsider the transit of Soviet Jewish people. Sorsa was concerned with Prime Minister Shamir's new Government which gives support to the settling of Jews in the occupied areas.
Soviet Minister of the Environment and Chairman of the Norwegian Labour Party Gro Harlem Brundtland attended the Environmental Seminar (the party conference of SDP) in Lappeenranta. Brundtland, who addressed the seminar, said that hardly any of the objectives set five years ago in the so called Brundtland commission have been achieved. In the seminar, Minister of the Environment Bärlund introduced new limitations on Finnish sulphur discharges.
Prime Minister Holkeri and Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen participated the ministerial and the summit meetings of EFTA in Goteborg, where EFTA managed to tighten its ranks. Our leading EES-negotiators also found the EC countries to have more positive attitude towards the EES than suspected.
The Government received parliamentary support for the negotiations that are being conducted to form the European Economic Space. The Parliament started discussions on the integration report of the Committee of Foreign Affairs. The Centre made known that it supports the Government since the committees have made reservations that are important to the party. Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen promised to keep Parliament informed of the EES-negotiations.
At the occasion of the Editors' Association in Helsinki President Koivisto said that Israel's reply to the transit conditions Finland has set on the Jews has been unsatisfactory. Koivisto said that he had expressed the Finnish view in connection with the visit of Israel's President Chaim Herzog. The President also thought that the Soviet Union wants other countries to share the responsibility, since it does not allow direct flights between the Soviet Union and Israel. In addition to this he said the CSCE is experiencing a new period of prosperity and that Finland is ready to consolidate the CSCE process with either temporary services or a permanent secretariat. The President also supposed that the Baltic nations would hardly be given such status in the CSCE that would be "unwillingly given by the Soviet Union”. The President expressed his optimism about the negotiations concerning the Economic Space. According to him the EFTA-countries have followed quite consistent lines in public. The President commented on the question of Defence Minister by saying that a woman could also be Minister of Defence.
In a UN-seminar concerning confidence-building measures in the naval districts Foreign Minister Paasio expressed Finnish satisfaction on the agreement concluded by the US and the SU in the Washington summit. The agreement restricts the amount of naval long distance cruise missiles. With the reduction of strategic weapons it promotes military stability in the North.
Josef Ben-Aharon, the Chief of the Prime Minister's Office in Israel assumed that the possible passage of Soviet Jews via Finland to Israel would not begin before Foreign Minister Paasio's visit to Israel. Ben-Aharon was annoyed with the Finnish demand for not settling the Jewish immigrants into occupied areas.
The state of Finland receives indemnities worth nearly 10 million FIM as compensation for the stranding of the Soviet tanker Antonio Gramsc. The stranding cost Finland over FIM 21 million. The rest of the sum will be covered by an international oil damage compensation fund.
The Parliament supported the Government line in the forthcoming EES-negotiations. The amendments proposed by the Opposition were voted down.
The chairman of the parliamentary group of the Swedish People's Party Elisabeth Rehn was nominated as Minister of Defence.
Elisabeth Rehn (Swedish People's Party) was nominated as Minister of Defence.
In a TV-interview President Koivisto denied press reports according to which he does not expect any results from the EES-talks. The President said that at the moment the EES-project is the only noteworthy proposition and that other alternatives are not worth considering in current unstable times. When asked about the Soviet Jews Koivisto wanted to wait for the results of Foreign Minister Paasio's trip to the Near-East. The President did not entirely abandon the idea of settling some of the Soviet Jews in Finland. Representatives of the Finnish congregations of the Jews appealed to Koivisto in order to allow the transit of the Soviet Jews via Finland.
The Soviet Union wants to give up the clearing trade between Finland and the Soviet Union and to start using the exchangeable currencies as early as next year. The Soviet Union made the proposal in the meeting of the Finnish-Soviet joint committee of payments cooperation in Moscow. The tight schedule came as a surprise to the Finns. Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen said that Finland tries to obtain a several year transition period from clearing to exchangeable currencies.
Prime Minister Holkeri attended the summer meeting of the Prime Ministers of Nordic countries in Älvsborg.
The former Deputy Foreign Minister of the United States and former Ambassador to Finland Rozanne L. Ridgeway spoke at the main occasion of Finnish-American-Societies League celebrations in Lappeenranta. According to Ridgeway the new security system in Europe is being formed by NATO, EC and the CSCE process.
In an interview in the newspaper Demari, Minister of Defence Rehn said that there is no need to shorten the period of military service. Instead, the contents and meaningfulness could be improved. The resources used by the Finnish military forces remain under European levels.
The foreign ministers of the EC accepted authorities according to which the EC officials will start negotiations on the formation of the EES between 19 countries.
Parliament confirmed the Nordic Council agreement concluded in 1990 on the Environmental Investment Company of the Northern States, which promotes environmental investments in Eastern Europe.
During his meeting with the Under-Secretary of State Karhilo Israel's Ambassador to Finland Asher Naim stated that in the passage question Finland has set conditions even more severe than the Soviet Union. He says that Finland has set conditions that are against Soviet laws. The Chief of the Political Department of the Foreign Ministry Blomberg contradicted these claims as misperceptions.
The objectives of the three-year Pullonkaula (Bottleneck)-project were introduced in Vaasa. Gathered in Vaasa were representatives of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic labour education officials and representatives of the labour market organizations. The Nordic countries in cooperation with each other seek methods to connect the demand and supply of labour force by developing education.
The Government granted Zimbabwe 150 million FIM development loan with the interest of 0.75 per cent. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wished that Zimbabwe would use part of the loan to make orders from other SADCC-countries.
Finland and the other EFTA members started the actual negotiations between 19 countries on creating the EES. Finnish delegation was chaired by Under-Secretary of State Sundbäck. According to Sundbäck within four weeks time the delegations will have to conclude more binding agreements on EC-laws that will form the base of the EES-treaty and will automatically be accepted by the EFTA countries. On 22.10. The EFTA countries will examine the accomplishments of the officials in an unofficial ministerial meeting in Geneva.
Association of the Finnish Paper Exporters Finnpap informed about stopping the paper exports to the Soviet Union due to the payment difficulties. Claims worth FIM 300 million are expected by the end of June.
According to Minister of Finance Louekoski part of the economic aid directed to Eastern Europe is planned to go through the Nordic Investment Bank. Targets countries would be Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The finance ministers of Nordic countries had gathered in Oslo to discuss the economic aid to Eastern Europe and the developments in the Germanies and in Europe. The chairmanship of the Investment Bank passed to Finland.
Foreign Minister Paasio visited Syria, Jordan and Israel. During his visit Paasio had meetings with the President of Syria Hafez Al-Assad and the Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaan, King Hussein of Jordan and in Israel Prime Minister Jitzhak Shamir, President Chaim Herzog, Foreign Minister David Levy and Deputy Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanjahu. The settling of Soviet Jews came up as the main topic of the visit. On his trip Foreign Minister Paasio visited also a Finnish peacekeeping battallion in Golan.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund attended the international environmental meeting in London arranged to promote protection of the ozone layer. The meeting concluded an agreement on ending the use of substancies destroying ozone by year 2000.
Association of the Finnish Paper Mills was informed that the Soviet Union will pay one third of the outstanding claims. According to the managing director of Finnpap Nysten the export will continue.
The development cooperation financed by the Finnish Government tends to direct more and more on promoting the markets of our own export industry, said the executive director of the Service Centre for Development Cooperation Sundman in an interview of newspaper Kansan Uutiset. The original goals of the development cooperation are now being left behind economic objectives.
King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia arrived in Kotka to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Ruotsinsalmi sea-battle.
President Mauno Koivisto appointed former Minister of Finance Erkki Liikanen the Chief of the Mission of the European Council in Brussels.
Giving up clearing in Soviet trade may amount in 20 per cent reductions in the trade said Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen in an interview of newspaper Demari. Suominen does not want to slow down the closure of the clearing system, since it will normalize the trade.
The town of Kotka and the Swedish Research Institute of Future arranged a New Hansaseminar in Kotka. The seminar dealt with the history, culture, nature preservation and future of the Baltic region. The opening speakers in the seminar were among others Prime Minister Engholm from Schleswig-Holstein, Foreign Minister of Estonia Meri, Prime Minister of Estonia Savisaar and Prime Minister of Lithuania Prunskiene.
The Finnish delegation to the European Council attended the summer session of the European Parliamentary Assembly.
President appointed a delegation to the 45th assembly of the United Nations. The Chairman is Foreign Minister Paasio, the Vice-Chairmen are Under-Secretary of State Karhilo and Ambassador Klaus Törnudd. Political parties appoint representatives to the delegation according to their parlamentarial representation.
The President accepted Finland joining the agreement which removes the visa obligation from refugees.
Pence organizations demand gradual suppression of the Finnish defensive forces. The defence policy committee of the organizations submitted the report on the subject to Minister of Defence Rehn.
Like other Nordic countries Finland could also use women in UN peacekeeping missions stated Minister of Defence Rehn in the meeting of all Nordic people who have served in the UN peacekeeping operations in Kotka. Rehn would not appoint women to armed posts.
Leaders of the Baltic nations appealed the Nordic Council to receive assistance in settling their disputes with Moscow. The issue was discussed in Kotka by Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene and Prime Minister Harri Holkeri in the New Hansa seminar.
The Government granted permission for the transit of Soviet Jews. In Government's opinion Israel must not settle them in the occupied areas of Gaza and the West Bank. Immigration of Soviet Jews is permitted also to other countries as well, for example to Finland. According to the leader of the PLO office in Helsinki, Zuheir al-Wazir, the transit is an operation against the Palestinians.
The European Nuclear Disarmament (END) convention gathered in Helsinki. 1200 people from 44 countries attended the meeting.
Leader of the PLO office in Helsinki, Zuheir al-Wazir, elaborated his statement on the operation. According to al-Wazir the actual immigration of the Soviet Jewish is an operation against the PLO, thus supported by Finland. Due to the statement readiness of the UN troops in Golan and Lebanon was increased. PLO also threatened all countries granting transit visas to Soviet Jews with economic and political sanctions.
Representatives of the Nordic Embassies delivered a joint appeal to the Kenyan Government in Nairobi to release the arrested speakers for democracy and humanity and promote peaceful development of democracy that guarantees full respect of human rights.
Leaders of the PLO want prompt meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Paasio. According to the leader of PLO Helsinki Office, Zuheir al-Wazir, the leaders of the organisation in Tunis would like to start visit exchanges on top level. He submitted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs an invitation from PLO, according to which the arrangements of the visit would start in August at earliest.
In an interview of the newspaper Pohjolan Sanomat, which is published in Kemi, MP Väyrynen reproached the National Coalition for Euro-Fanaticism, in other words for an uncritical attitude towards European integration. Väyrynen considered integration problematic in the sense that both the objectives and the methods are against the "economy of the nature”. In his opinion the increase in production and consumption means remarkable increase in the dissipation of natural resources and pollution. The principle of international division of labour means centralization of production and increasing transport of both the products and the means of production. Väyrynen regarded the restrictions on foreign ownership and the right to national social and territorial policy were regarded as the most important conditions to Finland.
European Economic Space meeting was held in Brussels. The negotiations were conducted on high official level. Chairman of the EC commission Jacques Delors said that transition periods can be granted to EFTA countries, but hardly any final exceptions from the rules of the future EES. According to Finland's leading negotiator, Under Secretary of State Veli Sundbäck three types of transition periods are considered in EFTA: short periods, medium length periods and long periods. He did not exclude the suggestion that special arrangements could be replaced by long transition periods. Transition periods to new members have been about 5-7 years.
Foreign ministers meeting of the Arab League decided to boycott those companies and organisations that assist the transit of Soviet Jews. The boycott does not include the countries permitting transit. Deputy Foreign Minister Salolainen did not expect the boycott threat to affect the schedules of Soviet Jews flying from Finland. Salolainen emphasized that further information on the boycott is needed before drawing any final conclusions.
Finland and the EC-commission signed a treaty in Brussels which binds the parties to examine government subsidies granted to shipyards case by case. At the same time the Finns are unofficially allowed in the conversation about the future of shipyard subsidies in the community.
The Chairman of the Centre Party Esko Aho told that the Centre has accepted the integration memorandum of the Foreign Affairs Committee but not the Government report. Aho criticized Finnish negotiators from not having put forward the instructions given by Parliament. Since wood industry is in key position in Finland, landowning should be kept in Finnish hands. This should be taken into account in the EES.
Officials of EFTA and EC countries negotiated in Brussels about the EES. On 23.7. the representatives of EFTA countries started the negotiations in a joint meeting. Time between 24.-25.7. was reserved for high level negotiations. A group of officials examined the achievements of five sub-working groups and the groups will continue negotiations on joint institutions that will build the EES.
The budget prepared by the Ministry of Finance does not include any separate moment for the environmental aid to Eastern Europe. Financial aid has been planned for the supplementary budgets next year. The budget includes merely finance for different projects trying to solve the pollution problems in Poland (FIM 30 million) and Estonia (FIM 35—40 million). The operations of the Centre for Alien Affairs will be improved in form of offices and financing. Probably also a separate division of refuge is under consideration.
In an interview published in the newspaper Uusi Suomi Deputy Foreign Minister of Latvia Nikolai Neiland wanted to strengthen cooperation between the Nordic countries and Latvia as well as with the other Baltic states. In Neiland's words the Baltic way to the European cooperation goes via Nordic countries. He told Latvia to be ready for all types of cooperation.
Fifteen years had passed from the signing of the CSCE resolution. Finnish Ambassador to the CSCE Pertti Torstila told that the CSCE is nowadays cornerstone of the progress towards new and better Europe and hoped for the continuation and improvement of the project. The resolution was praised also by Foreign Minister of West-Germany Hans Dietrich Genscher.
Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund headed the Finnish delegation that participated the special session of the UN administrative council dealing with the environmental programme. The session was arranged on the request of Finland. In connection with the session, there was a meeting between ministers representing different continents, arranged to solve the biggest environmental problems of the world. The Nairobi meeting started work to create an international climate agreement.
Representative Almgren and a group of other activists from the Finnish Christian League want to remove the PLO Office in Finland. Almgren and his companions started collecting names against the PLO in the whole country. The name collectors are also trying to expell Zuheir al-Wazir, the leader of the PLO Office from Finland. In their opinion al-Wazir has exceeded his powers and interfered in the domestic matters of Finland.
Foreign Minister Paasio said that according to the resolution of the UN Security Council on 2.8.1990 Finland condemns the Iraqian invasion of Kuwait and demands the immediate withdrawal of Iraq and appeals to the parties to make them start negotiations.
Minister of Trade and Industry Suominen said in a Financial Times interview that Finland could give up the absolute prohibition against foreign land and forest ownership it demanded in the negotiations concerning the European Economic Space. He supposed that Finland will be able to keep away foreign landowners with the help of present legislation.
A national peace forum took place in Loviisa. The opening speakers in the forum were Speaker of Parliament Sorsa, Hungarian-Rumanian Bishop László Tőkes and Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Lipponen. The Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs Aaltonen addressed the forum and suggested democratizing the foreign policy. In the main celebrations of the forum Sorsa had a positive attitude towards foreign labour. He did not separate the refugees from those thinking of economic advantage. The Loviisa peace award was granted to Bishop Tőkes.
The ninth (9.) general assembly of the International Association of Universities (IAU) was held in Helsinki. The assembly was hosted by the Helsinki University Speakers in the opening celebrations were among others Director General of the UNESCO Frederico Mayor and Prime Minister Holkeri.
Parliamentary group of the Swedish People's Party (Rkp) which held a meeting in Porvoo thought that international questions should have more emphasis in next year's budget. Rkp demands funds for relieving the environmental problems in East Europe, for student and researcher exchange, for international cooperation of ministries and for increasing the personnel of the Centres for Mien Affairs and organizations caring for the refugees.
Foreign Minister Paasio represented Finnish Government and the Social Democratic Party in Vienna at the funeral of the former Federal Chancellor of Austria Bruno Kreisky.
Iraq told that Finns remaining in Kuwait can be evacuated via Jordan. The decision on the evacuation will not be concluded until exact schedule has been agreed on with Iraq. The evacuation of the Finns (22 persons) was arranged in cooperation with the embassies of other Nordic countries and Canada.
The Government of Finland announced that it will put into effect the UN sanctions against Iraq and Kuwait immediately and fully.
Prime Minister Holkeri hosted a national environmental meeting under the title "Time is ripe” in the mansion of Haikko in Porvoo. Among others the Executive Secretary of the ECE, Gerald Hinteregger lectured in the meeting. He stressed the relations between the environment and economy. A shadow convention was arranged in the VFB-house of Porvoo.
The Foreign Ministry of Finland received a notice that Iraq is cancelling the information according to which the 22 Finns in Kuwait can be evacuated via Jordan. Some of those going to Jordan had been turned back at the frontier. The Foreign Ministry gave instructions to Finns in the eastern parts of Saudi-Arabia to move to Riad or Yedda. The Ministry quickly prepared a plan to evacuate all Finns from Saudi-Arabia too if needed.
Finland received a verbal notice on the closure of Iraqi borders and on the closure of the embassies situated in Kuwait or moving them to Baghdad. An extensive international appeal was submitted to Iraq in order to secure the evacuation of the foreigners. Finland took part in the appeal.
President Mauno Koivisto issued an order of economic sanctions against Iraq and Kuwait. With the order the stipulations given by the UN Security Council on 6.8. are brought bindingly into force. Finland bans trade with Iraq and Kuwait as well as transit through the countries. Further; it is forbidden to transfer any resources in either of the countries.
In negotiations between the representatives of the USSR Supreme Soviet and the Nordic Council it was agreed that a delegation of the Nordic Council will visit Moscow, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in autumn. Originally, the parliamentarians were to visit the Soviet Union in May. The trip was then called off because the delegation was not granted visas to Lithuania.
Ambassador Marjatta Rasi was chosen to supervise the UN Security Council sanctions against Iraq.
Foreign Minister Paasio invited the Iraqi Ambassador to Finland for a visit and asked the Iraqi Government to assist in the safe evacuation of the Finns. The Finnish Embassy in Baghdad received a note from Iraq, in which the embassy in Kuwait was requested to move to Baghdad by 24th August. Paasio told that the request will be considered on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution in which the incorporation of Kuwait to Iraq was declared invalid.
The 16th Arctic areas conference was held in Kemi. The official declaration of the conference demanded that the Nordic Council must start cooperation with Nordic Parliaments, governments and the Soviet Union in order to put an end to the contamination of the Arctic areas environment. In connection with the conference peace researcher Johan Galtung granted an interview to Helsingin Sanomat in which he suggested that the Nordic countries should present the Soviet Union with the technique needed for diminishing the discharges in Kola.
The Government of Finland expressed regret about the mischief done to the Embassy of Iraq the other night, and immediately attended to the integrity of the Embassy of Iraq.
UN special committee opposing apartheid noted that the visit of a South-African youth choire in the meeting of International organization of music educators Isme in Helsinki violated cultural boycott declared by the UN. Despite the boycott the choir performed in Helsinki on 8th and 9th of August.
Foreign Minister Paasio estimated in the newspaper Kannus that the UN Security Council had been able to act promptly in the Near-East crisis and in a way that is likely to increase the authority of the world organization.
The Foreign Ministry of Finland received a verbal notice from the Foreign Ministry of Iraq informing that the Finns in Kuwait can move over to Iraq.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund stated in Kittilä that accounts for the renewal of the Kola Petsenganikel melting plant will reach some positive point next month, after which concrete discussions on money can start. The committee of the SDP parliamentary group pressed forward the Soviet actions for preventing the environmental destructions in Kola.
The Foreign Ministry of Finland did not present official statement on the US naval actions against Iraq. The Foreign Ministry emphasized that the UN Security Council strictly controls the execution of the economic sanctions it has passed. Unless this road leads to the expected results Finland can consider other actions allowed in the UN charter.
Nordic national news agencies and news agencies of the Baltic countries have decided to start developing their news exchange cooperation. In the first joint meeting in Helsinki the leaders of the news agencies called for objective, reliable and fluent communication especially under present political, economic and social changes.
Foreign Minister of Uruguay Doctor Hector Gros Espiell paid an official visit to Finland at the invitation of Foreign Minister Paasio. Gros is the Chairman of the GATT Uruguay round and recognized authority in the field of international justice. During his visit Gros had meetings with President Koivisto, Prime Minister Holkeri and Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen.
In the summer meeting in Rauma the parliamentary group of the Christian League criticized the Government for negative attitude towards the transit of Soviet Jews. According to the Christians the unreasonable conditions set by the Government have for their part delayed the "Great Exodus” from the Soviet Union via Finland to Israel.
Finland and Norway concluded a preliminary agreement on modernizing two Kola nickel melting plants if negotiations with the Soviet Union lead to a contract.
It turned out that Estonian towns and some of the towns of other Baltic nations will not participate the meeting of Finnish-Soviet friendship towns. The Balts did not want to participate under the Soviet flag and the representatives of the town of Oulu did not intend to raise the Baltic flags. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Estonia Toivo Kuldsepp confirmed the non-attendance of the Estonian towns.
The Friendship Society of the Arab Nations appealed to Iraq so that the country would allow the Finns in Kuwait and Iraq to leave the crises area freely. The society delivered a letter on the subject to the Ambassador of Iraq in Helsinki.
During Prime Minister's interview time on the radio Holkeri found it possible that the defence force will buy more used weapons or weapons kept in stocks. According to Holkeri the 60 fighters on the acquisition list must be new, since Finland will buy an entire supply and control system with them. He also thought that concrete results will be reached in the environmental cooperation between Finland and the Soviet Union.
Finland and Namibia signed a development cooperation programme. At first the two countries will concentrate on health-care and education. This year Finland will use 40 million FIM to developmental cooperation with Namibia. Finland has also supported Namibia through the UN organizations and Finnish national organizations with 36.6 million FIM.
The Government of Finland strictly condemned the treatment of the foreign hostages in Iraq. In Oulu Foreign Minister Paasio stated that such treatment is against the principles of international justice and humanity According to Prime Minister Holkeri Finland tries to get the Finns away from the occupied areas in joint cooperation with the other Nordic countries. Simultaneously, actions will be taken on the basis of the UN decisions.
The Finnish Ambassador to the UN Klaus Törnudd did not believe Finland would take part in possible UN troops in the Persian Gulf even though Finland usually has participated in peacekeeping tasks. According to Törnudd sending troops to carry out military sanctions would appear strange.
Estonian economist Tiit Made suggested in Tallinn that a currency union should be established between Finland and Estonia. He made his suggestion to parliament delegation of the Leftist Union visiting Tallinn. According to the delegation Finland should examine the possibilities to grant Estonia a loan of FIM 400 million for environmental protection.
The Government reached consensus over the defence budget for the next year. The budget amounts to 9 billion FIM. Increase to this year's budget is 22 per cent.
In the tenth meeting of Finnish-Soviet friendship towns in Oulu the mayor of Helsinki Raimo Ilaskivi proposed reserving an appropriation for marketing the Finnish model of municipal and regional administration to Eastern Europe.
In an interview published by the Social Democratic UP news service Foreign Minister Paasio said that neutrality due to the political changes in Europe, is not as big obstacle to Finnish EC-membership as before. However, he did not consider the EC-membership as a current alternative to the EES. The EES negotiations aim at establishing some kind of working system before the joint markets take force in the beginning of 1993, so that right from the beginning Finland could form a sufficient part of the joint market.
President Koivisto expressed his deep concern about the situation in the Persian Gulf. He estimated that the crisis may lead to an open military conflict. Koivisto demanded Iraq to allow the citizens of Finland and other countries to leave Iraq and Kuwait without delay.
In the meeting of the Nordic Council presiding officers on the Lofots in Norway it was agreed that a council delegation will visit Moscow and three Baltic republics in the end of October. Finland will be represented by Speaker Elsi Hetemäki-Olander and representative Mats Nyby. In the meeting the NC chairmanship required answers to environmental questions from the Nordic Government. Iraq was strictly condemned for not letting the civilians out of Iraq and Kuwait. The statement was produced by the initiative of representative Mats Nyby.
The Estonian President Arnold Rüütel visited Finland at the invitation of the Paasikivi-Society. He lectured on the independence development in Estonia (society hand-out series number 97). During his visit Rüütel had discussions with President Koivisto, Prime Minister Holkeri and the Chairman of the Committee for Foreign Affairs Aaltonen.
The Government submitted Parliament a presentation on increasing economic aid to the African SADCC-countries. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark have agreed on forming a Fund called NORSAD and its secretariat in Copenhagen. The Parliament has to accept the legislative parts of the agreement.
In the nomination ceremonies of new cadets in the Presidential Residence President Koivisto said that Iraq has subordinated the citizens of other states caught in the area under despotic rule. He saw the events in the Gulf as an example of unscrupulous use of force for political purposes.
According to the former Ambassador to the UN Max Jacobson, the recent actions of the UN Security Council prove that Finland is not neutral towards the events in the Near East. Jacobson estimated that Finland has entered a new situation now that it has voted for the resolutions in the Security Council. In principle the council can oblige the member countries to put military forces under UN command.
The UN Security Council authorized the international navy located in the Near East to cut trade connections between Iraq and rest of the world with coercive means if necessary. Thirteen countries voted for the resolution, among them Finland. Foreign Minister Paasio regarded the decision as application of the former economic sanctions and not as a military act. Nor did he believe that the resolution obliges Finland to participate in controlling the sanctions on the Persian Gulf. Paasio did not think that support for the resolution can be seen as a change in the Finnish neutrality policy.
Representatives of 75 countries reached a tentative agreement on the principles to prevent the warming of the atmosphere. The UN meeting held in Sundsvall, Sweden, compiled the agreement on basis of the principles according to which the so called greenhouse effect can be fought in the future. The objective of the meeting was to lay the ground for the 1991 UN environmental and development conference in Brazil.
The United States contacted the Foreign Ministry of Finland and requested Finland to expell all Iraqi diplomats from Finland. Finland saw no reason to the expell of Iraqi diplomats.
Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen dealt with the effect of integration on different monopoles in a speech he gave at the National Coalition Economic Society. According to Salolainen the monopoles must be broken in order to revive our economy Re-estimation of the monopoles is thus not the necessary evil to which we should conform along with the European integration.
Prime Minister of Great-Britain Margaret Thatcher paid an official visit to Finland. During the visit she met President Koivisto and Prime Minister Holkeri. Near East crises and the European Community were discussed. Thatcher said that countries which do not send military forces have other methods, e.g. humanitarian ways, to participate the sanctions. The Prime Minister did not regard neutrality as an obstacle for the Finnish EC-membership. Prime Minister Thatcher also attended the meeting of the European Democratic Union in Helsinki.
Deputy Chairman of the EC-commission Henning Christophersen who visits Finland regarded diminishing the EFTA conditions in the EES negotiations as inevitable. According to Christophersen the Nordic countries can join the EC monetary union, which will take force in 1994, as accessory members, when the central banks of the countries conclude an agreement with the EC. During his visit Christophersen had meetings with Minister of Finance Louekoski, Foreign Minister Paasio, Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen and General Director of the Bank of Finland Kullberg. With his hosts Christophersen negotiated about establishing an EC mission in Finland.
FIIA Forum 90-seminar of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs was held in Helsinki. The seminar dealt with trade between Finland and the Soviet Union in the changing Europe. The opening speakers were, among others, Vice-Chairman of the EC Commission Henning Christophersen, Councellor of the Foreign Affairs in the Soviet Foreign Ministry Vladimir Grigoriev and Minister Salolainen.
In a short meeting between Prime Minister Holkeri and Prime Minister of Sweden Ingvar Carlsson it was agreed that Finland grants 20 million FIM to countries that suffer losses due to the economic sanctions against Iraq.
Finland participates financing of the Environmental Centre of Central and Eastern Europe which will be set up in Hungary. This way Finland will be one of the founding members of the centre. The Government decided to grant FIM 700 000 for the project. The sum will be included in the supplementary budget of this year.
During the Press Officials Days arranged by the Foreign Ministry Minister Paasio said that the Finnish Government does not consider the EC-membership question "current at the moment”, referring to the statement given by Minister of Trade and Industry Ilkka Suominen in the meeting of the European Democrat Union. According to Paasio, instead of speculating with the membership question, we should examine the EC from the standpoint of foreign policy.
The 13th meeting of the European Democrat Union EDU was held in Helsinki. The meeting was arranged by the Finnish National Coalition and it attracted among others Prime Minister of England Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Norway Jan P. Syse and the Prime Minister of Hungary József Antall. Title of the meeting was "Free Europe to All”. In the meeting the Chairman of the National Coalition Ilkka Suominen estimated, that Finland will apply for EC-membership in the 1990's, on condition that the present development in the organization continues unchanged. At the end of the meeting a Helsinki declaration was given which outlined the new security policy structures of Europe and condemned the Iraqi attack of Kuwait.
Foreign Minister Paasio and Norwegian Ambassador Kjell Rasmussen made amendments to the 1983 agreement concerning the concessions on crossing the border between Finland and Norway.
In a press-conference arranged in Copenhagen the Danish Foreign Minister Elleman-Jensen indirectly criticized Finland and Sweden for their indifferent attitude towards the UN sanctions against Iraq. At the same time he praised Norway for deciding to take a supply ship to the Gulf of Persia.
In an interview published in the newspaper Satakunnan Kansa President Koivisto noted that the world economy dependence on the cheap Near East oil should be diminished. He said that the price of oil should be kept on clearly higher level than it is at the moment. Koivisto expected that the Near East crisis will teach us to develop alternative sources of energy. The President believed that in the future Finland will have to take stands on international disputes more frequently than so far.
In an interview of the newspaper Uusi Suomi Foreign Minister Paasio said that he does net regard the alteration of the Germany statement in the FCMA-pact as necessary, in spite of the unification of the two Germanies in next October. He explained this by the fact that the treaty is a security arrangement between Finland and the Soviet Union and that Finnish policy towards Germany is not defined in it. Paasio did not consider compensations for the wartime devastations in Lapland current. He told that the destiny of the compensations will clear up in the summit of Paris at the end of November. Referring to the Return Karelia-discussion Paasio noticed that Finland is the fifth biggest country in Europe and that we do not have any claims for supplementary areas.
In a meeting of the SMP district organization, representative Marita Jurva said that in Finland consulates should be opened for the Baltic nations to express solidarity on their independence efforts. Jurva also suggested that renewing the FCMA-pact is not necessary. According to her the relations between Finland and the Soviet Union could be normalized to the same level with other neighbouring countries.
According to representative Väyrynen who gave a speech in the celebrations of the 90th birthday of Urho Kekkonen, the EFTA countries must not be satisfied with the thought that the EC could dictate them the alternatives which are either full membership or EES-treaty closely reminding it. Väyrynen believed that the EFTA countries can produce the necessary amendments and transition provisions by strongly supporting the EFTA negotiation objectives. In his speech he supported the idea of a Nordic Community.
Prime Ministers and Ministers of the Environment of the Baltic Sea countries held a meeting in Ronneby, Sweden. In the meeting Prime Minister Holkeri insisted all countries in the Baltic region to intensify their environmental protection. Finland, Norway and Sweden pressured the Soviet Union to take effective actions to restrict sulphur discharges of the Kola nickel melting plants. The Baltic Sea countries gave a joint declaration that required concrete protection plans to be completed by the end of 1992. In addition to this the meeting decided about forming an intergovernmental crisis group whose task is to compose a plan of action concerning the Baltic Sea by the end of 1991.
According to Minister Councellor Krister Wahlbäck President Urho Kekkonen estimated wrongly the power of the Soviet Union and the interests of the German Federal Republic. He explained the subject at a lecture occasion arranged by the Paasikivi-Society commemorating the 90th anniversary of President Urho Kekkonen (society hand-out series number 98).
Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Aaltonen visited Petroskoi at the invitation of the council of ministers of the Karelian Autonomic Soviet Republic. He had a meeting with Prime Minister of Karelia Sergei Blinnikov.
Rumania requests Prime Minister Holkeri to cancel the critic he expressed on 31.8. in a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister József Antall, The critique concerned the treatment of Hungarian people in Rumania. According to the news submitted by Reuter the Rumanian Foreign Ministry summoned the Finnish Ambassador to Rumania Bo Ådahl for a reprimand.
The columnist of Turun Sanomat Esko Antola stated that applying membership in the EC is not an alternative among others. According to him the development views in Europe do not offer other realistic alternatives which could defend the Finnish interests. He added, that for a small nation whose well-being depends greatly on the outside world stability and balance of the environment and minimizing the uncertainty factors are essential things. This kind of security is possible only for a member of the EC.
In a TV-interview President Koivisto said that electing Helsinki scene of the summit between the United States and the Soviet Union is an acknowledgement for the neutrality of Finland. The President stated that Finland can not avoid responsibility of the world problems by appealing to the super power conflicts. The President also said that humanitarian aid can be granted to Iraq if the country expresses humaneness.
Negotiations between the EC and EFTA on the EES continued again in Brussels after summer vacations. In the negotiations the EC demands Finland and other EFTA-countries to give much more definitive explanations on the subjects in which the EFTA-countries want to have exceptions. Finland had to prove in detail why it sticks to keeping forests, shores and certain companies in Finnish possession.
The disarmament meeting of the Socialist International was held in Tampere. The meeting was hosted by the Chairman of the SDP Paasio and it considered building permanent organs into the CSCE to plan the security policy and settle disputes. The meeting wanted the UN to improve its possibilities in forecasting the crises and in precautionary negotiations. The meeting was chaired by Willy Brandt from West Germany; other attendants were Prime Minister of Sweden Ingvar Carlsson, opposition leader of Japan Takako Doi and Chairman of the Lebanese Socialist Progressive Party Walid Jumblatt.
President of the United States George Bush and President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev had a meeting in Helsinki. The Presidents discussed the Iraqi attack of Kuwait. President Mauno Koivisto had bilateral discussions with both superpower leaders. In addition to the Presidents the Prime Ministers of both countries, James Baker and Eduard Shevardnadze arrived in Helsinki. Foreign Minister Paasio had discussions with both ministers. The superpower leaders gave a joint Helsinki-resolution in which they summoned the Government of Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait without conditions, to allow the government of Kuwait to return to power and to release all hostages in Iraq and Kuwait.
In the interview published in Helsingin Sanomat right before the summit President Koivisto noted, that the UN sanctions decision has created an effective pressure system against Iraq, and that at the same time it has reduced threat of an open conflict in the Persian Gulf at least for the present. Koivisto said emphatically that Iraq must adjust to the decisions of the international community without conditions and let foreign hostages out of the country.
Finance Minister of Denmark Niels Helveg Petersen suggested in Rome that the EC should build a mechanism to bind Finnish Mark and five other EFTA currencies to the European currency unit ecu. According to Petersen the position of EFTA-currencies should be taken up in December in the intergovernmental meeting planning the EC monetary union.
Joint meeting of the scientific-technical cooperation committee between Finland and the Soviet Union was held for the 36th time in Finland. The meeting noted extension in cooperation, especially with the areas close to Finland. The committee concluded a preliminary agreement on a joint venture to be founded in Finland. The objective of the venture would be promoting transfer of technology from the Soviet Union to Finland and the third countries.
Ministers responsible for Nordic development aid held a meeting in Molde, Norway. Finland was represented by Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio. The declaration published in the end of the meeting recorded for the first time the connection between democracy and development aid. In the declaration the ministers also demanded developing countries to decrease their military expenditures. The Nordic Foreign Ministers started their two-day semi-annual meeting on 11.9. Subjects in the meeting were among other things South-Africa, the UN and the Persian Gulf and relations with the Baltic nations.
In a budget proposal for the year 1991 the Government formed objectives of Finnish foreign policy with somewhat different emphasis than before. The explanations did not include the FCMA-pact. The Government stated that part of the central contents of our foreign policy will be to develope the traditional and confidential relations between Finland and the Soviet Union. The Government also emphasized importance of Nordic cooperation, "extensive all-European cooperation” within the CSCE, disarmament and consolidation of the UN. A new part in the explanatory memorandum was Government's aim to support the formation of the EES.
According to the Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs Paavo Lipponen the Nordic countries need a joint European policy. In the meeting of Norwegian-Finnish trade association in Norway he said that all Nordic countries should join the EC and continue Nordic cooperation inside the community. Otherwise he presumed the Nordic countries will end up on a sidetrack and lose their opportunities to influence superpower policies.
Finland ratified the EC treaty which concerns cooperation exceeding national borders. The purpose of the treaty is to facilitate cooperation of local and regional officials. The treaty comes into effect in 1990.
The Parliament Committee for Foreign Affairs requested the Government for a report on security policy by the end of October. The Committee referred to the transition period in international politics, which causes a need to adjust the Finnish security policy to the different environments.
Vice-Chairman of the EC commission Martin Bangemann indirectly urged in his Wolfburg speech the EFTA countries to apply for EC-membership.
Soviet Jews have been granted transit visas and about 50 persons travel weekly via Finland to Israel by the planes of El Al. The information was confirmed by the Foreign Ministry. Any guarantee for not settling the Jewish in the occupied areas has not been received. According to the state of Israel the immigrants may choose their living places freely. The airline company of El Al and the Embassy of Israel have been quiet on the matter.
When the two Germanies will be united the Finnish Embassy in East-Berlin will be closed and the ambassador will return to Finland. President of the Republic decided about the arrangements concerning the matter.
Finland's Gallup interviewed 504 persons on the account of newspaper Kaleva, The interviewed were at least 15 years old and lived outside Åland. More than half of these, 53 per cent wanted full membership in the EC. One third would accept EC full membership if neutral Sweden did the same. One fifth of Finns would immediately apply for full membership like Austria. Less than one third (29 per cent) considered neutrality so important that Finland must not risk it by applying for the membership. The research revealed that those supporting the National Coalition were most positive about the membership. Full membership was rejected by the Centre and supporters of the small parties, even though the majority of their voters were ready to join the European Community.
Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund visited Karelia and Leningrad area in order to prepare water protection programme which is to be accepted already in 1991. In Karelia the leaders of the Soviet-Karelia assured, that no nuclear power plant will be built in Karelia. Instead, the pump power plant project is still in progress. During the visit Minister Bärlund suggested that Finnish and Soviet experts in cooperation with IAEA should inspect the safety of the Soviet nuclear plants located near Finnish border.
Prime Minister Holkeri warned the Western Europe in the interviews of Norwegian papers Aftenposten and Dagbladet from forgetting the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europe. Holkeri outlined a gloomy vision on the future development of the Soviet Union, predicting chaos unless the Western states come for help.
The EC proposal for including agriculture to the EES-treaty was completed. The EC wants to create a consistent price balancing system for agricultural products and food in the European area. Commissar Raymond McScarry, who is in charge for agriculture, accepted the principles of the treaty. The proposal must yet be accepted by the EC Department of International Relations before it will be sent to the member countries for approval. Earlier the officials 20.9. The newspaper Uusi Suomi published a statement of the Chairman of Central Union of Agricultural Producers Heikki Haavisto according to which Finland should join the European Community if agriculture will not receive special protection from the EES. In a statement published by the newspaper Karjalainen, Haavisto feared that agriculture will be driven into a severe crisis if the joint food market becomes objective of the Euro-Space negotiations.
Negotiations between EC and EFTA took place in Brussels. The EC Commission was presumed to yield to the demands of Finland and five other EFTA-countries according to which the countries can preserve their high norms in environmental protection, safety at work and health care. Further, the EFTA-countries accepted a principle according to which the EC competition rules are followed in the European Economic Space. For this purpose EFTA will form a control organ which will be granted supranational authority. The EC rejected Finnish hopes to keep Finnish companies in domestic possession as well as the request to keep land, forests and lakes to Finnish owners. In this subject the EC may agree to only relatively short transition period.
In a fresh booklet "The strength and the weaknesses of Finland” which was published in a seminar arranged by the Centre for Finnish Business and Policy Studies EVA, it was estimated that despite the result of the EES negotiations Finland will have to consider full membership in the EC as a realistic alternative. According to EVA the difference between EES-membership and EC-membership is beginning to remind a mere matter of form.
President Mauno Koivisto and the Government renewed the interpretations of the most important state treaties of Finland. The Government estimated that the regulations concerning Germany in the peace treaty of Paris have lost their importance - excluding the ban of nuclear weapons - after the unification of the two Germanies. According to the Government the regulations limiting the authority of Finland do not reflect the Finnish position as a member of the United Nations and as a party in the CSCE. Government's decision was connected with President Koivisto's statement on the FCMA-pact. Koivisto noticed that the confrontations in Europe have relaxed and the reference to German attack in the FCMA-pact has become outdated. In any case Koivisto assured that the importance of the treaty will not diminish. When commenting the decision the former Ambassador to the UN Max Jacobson estimated that among other things Karelia and retuning it to Finland will become subjects of discussion. Jacobson said that after realizing that part of the peace-treaty has lost its meaning it will become inevitable to ask whether the territorial stipulations have lost their meaning as well.
Finland established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The Governments of Finland and the Soviet Union concluded a decision in principle on modernizing the Kola peninsula nickel melting plants by using Finnish technology. Nickel production will be concentrated in the town of Nikel and two big smelting furnaces will be built there by Outokumpu. The decision was published after negotiations between Prime Minister Holkeri and Deputy Prime Minister V.H. Doguzhiev who was visiting Finland. Minister Doguzhiev is responsible for environmental issues in the Soviet Union. The financing of the project was still left open. Deputy Prime Minister Doguzhiev accepted the proposal to improve nuclear safety cooperation. He asked Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund for a concrete suggestion on the forms of cooperation. After that the meaning is to agree on the practical questions.
The CSCE environmental meeting of 34 countries was held in Palma de Mallorca. The resolution stated that Europe must give economic help to the southern neighbours in order to ensure stable conditions and clean environment in the Mediterranean.
Foreign Minister Paasio participated the 44th General Assembly of the UN in New York. When speaking in the Security Council he emphasized that Finland is prepared to increase humanitarian aid in the crises areas of the Near East if requested. Finland has also prepared to send peacekeepers to the area after the crisis has eased off and Iraq has withdrawn from Kuwait. Foreign Minister Paasio had a meeting with the UN Secretary General Perez de Queillar. During his trip Paasio had discussions with the Foreign Ministers of Iran, India, Kuwait and Hungary, Nordic countries, France, China and Jordania.
The Council of Europe held General Assembly where it expressed a wish to change the CSCE to a permanent parliamentarian body and suggested CSCE meetings to be arranged once a year. The General Assembly proposed an environmental agreement that covers the whole of Europe. According to the views of the Finnish delegation an international organ should be established to control the execution of the agreement.
Meeting of the intergovernmental Finnish-Soviet economic commission was held in Helsinki. The negotiations dealt with payment arrangements in Finnish- Soviet trade, the finance of the Kola-project and Finland's outstanding claims from the Soviet Union. In the negotiations between Prime Minister Holkeri and Deputy Prime Minister Sitaryan it came out that the Soviet Union has not made decisions for or against clearing-trade. Holkeri and Sitaryan decided to transfer the decision on payment arrangements to the general agreement missions, since no solution was reached in the payment working group.
When introducing the report on development cooperation the Chairman of the Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs Aaltonen said that Finnish policy of human rights is behind policies of other Nordic countries because of the neutrality. The report notes that Finland should re-estimate human rights policy in the light of international development and new human rights agreements. The report also stated that Finland should seriously consider stopping the development aid to countries that crudely violate human rights.
The Outokumpu concern and Norilskij Nikel concern signed a contract including general principles of the modernization of the Kola nickel melting plants. New plants should be finished by 1994. Department of the Environment set up a separate project to look after the environmental cooperation with East-European countries from the beginning of October.
West-German historian and political observer Michael Sturmer who participated the CSCE-seminar in Helsinki did not regard Finnish neutrality as a great obstacle for membership in the EC unless the organization develops defensive dimensions to its policy.
Board of Directors of the Agricultural Producers offered direct support to the EES-negotiations between EFTA and EC countries. Finnish production system required the Finnish negotiators to keep agriculture and Finnish forest ownership outside the EES arrangements.
The Institute of International Affairs and Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington D.C.) arranged international seminar titled "New Arrangement in Europe: Developing the CSCE Framework” in Helsinki. The opening speech was given by Prime Minister Holkeri. Other opening speakers were Doctor Antola, professor Michael Stürmer, professor Hanspeter Neuhold, Vladimir Veres, professor Victor-Yves Ghebali, Jenonne Walker, Doctor Johan Jörgen Holst and Nicole Ghesotto.
According to President Koivisto, Finland should concentrate on taking the ongoing Eurospace negotiations to the end and forget speculations concerning full membership in the EC. Koivisto expressed his view when meeting the representatives of Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
Finland launched negotiations on the membership in IEA, the energy organization of OECD. Finland may join the organization as soon as this yean Supranational actions were considered to relieve the price crisis created by the Near-East in the meeting of the IEA administrative council in Paris. Finland participated in the meeting as an observer.
The Parliament confirmed an act on grounds of which Finland has since the 10th of August participated in the blockade against Iraq and occupied Kuwait. By now the blockade concerns also the air traffic. The Committee of the Foreign Affairs emphasized in a report on the subject that the Government must carefully consider the formulation of Finnish neutral policy and UN-policy in the varying circumstances.
The EC and EFTA will establish information and consultation system to meet economy and monetary policies. Consensus over the issue was reached in the meeting of the EES capital movements drafting group in Brussels. Member of the EC commission Sir Leon Brittan announced the EC to be ready to accept new members after 1993.
Over 70 heads of states assembled in the United Nations and accepted a comprehensive programme on children rights. Prime Minister Holkeri addressed the meeting on the limitations of population growth and problems caused by the pollution of environment. In connection with the assembly Holkeri had meetings with President of the United States George Bush, Prime Minister of Great Britain Margaret Thatcher and Prime Minister of Japan Toshiko Kaifu. During his visit Prime Minister Holkeri met Vice-President of the United States Dan Quayle who ranked high Finnish actions in the UN Security Council.
Peru closed down the Embassy in Finland. The closure is part of the savings programme of Peruvian President Alberto Fujimor.
The EC rejected again the demands of the EFTA countries to limit foreign ownership, but communicated that interests cherished by EFTA can also be protected in other ways.
Foreign Ministers of the CSCE countries gathered in a working session in New York, where they prepared the summit scheduled for November and tried to speed up the negotiations on conventional weapons. Foreign Minister Paasio who spoke in the meeting said that Finland is ready to host the CSCE Foreign Ministers Meeting. He suggested the first half of the next year as a suitable point of time for the meeting. Paasio also hoped that the summit in Paris would take the first steps to strengthen the constructions of the CSCE. Paasio suggested regular foreign ministers meetings. After the meeting Deputy Chief of Department Markku Reimaa told that in connection with the CSCE follow-up meeting in 1992 also the summit will be held in Helsinki. The European negotiations will extend to cover all CSCE countries when the negotiations on reducing conventional armaments and on confidence building measures are united after the Helsinki meeting. This means that in the future Finland will participate in the arms control negotiations.
According to Foreign Minister Paasio who spoke at the 44th UN General Assembly some additional actions should be taken if the sanctions directed against Iraq by the Security Council can not make President Saddam Hussein to withdraw his troops from Kuwait. At a Security Council session Paasio repeated principles of the international justice that should protect the interests of all countries and especially those of small nations.
EFTA countries had a meeting in Geneva. In the meeting it appeared that EFTA countries were ready to negotiate with the EC on methods by which the national interests of different countries could be protected without discriminating foreigners. The meeting emphasized, however, that an agreement to negotiate is not the same thing as a preliminary agreement.
According to the views of the Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs Finland should relieve the attitude towards South Africa. This would strengthen President de Klerk's position against extreme right-wing forces that are willing to preserve apartheid. The question arose in connection with the human rights discussion which took place on the basis of the Government's human rights report from last spring.
Minister of Defence Rehn speeded up the national defence training of women. In Säkylä she told that actions in this matter will be taken up next year at the latest.
President Koivisto congratulated the United Germany in a telegram which was directed to President Richard von Weizäcker.
Party secretaries of the Nordic leftist parties gathered in Helsinki and decided to strengthen their cooperation in relation to the European integration and negotiations on the European Economic Space. The secretaries emphasized the need to improve intergovernmental cooperation between the Baltic Sea countries.
The Liberal International held a three-day meeting in the Dipoli congress centre in Espoo. The meeting attracted 330 representatives from thirty countries. Ecological questions were one of the topics of discussion. LI accepted the declaration concerning the Gulf crisis in which Iraqi attack of Kuwait and other Iraqi actions against international justice were condemned.
High level consultations between Finland and the EC were held in Brussels. The Finnish delegation was headed by Minister Salolainen. In Brussels Salolainen met Vice-Chairmen of the EC Commission Frank Andriessen and Henning Christophersen. In the negotiations it appeared that the EC is not willing to give in for Finnish demand to limit foreign ownership.
President Koivisto and Mrs Koivisto paid an official visit to Canada. The President couple visited Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. In President's delegation were, among others, Foreign Minister Paasio and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his speeches President Koivisto offered Canada environmental cooperation and hoped support for Gorbachev.
The Soviet Union wants to transfer the currency claims of 700 million FIM to an intergovernmental clearing account. This was told by a representative of the Soviet Commission of International Relations to the newspaper Uusi Suomi. Reasons for the proposal are lack of foreign currency and advantages the Soviet Union has gained from the rise in oil prices.
The Nordic Cooperation Ministers decided about using 14.3 million Danish Crowns, i.e., nearly 9 million FIM, between 1990 and 1991 to cooperation projects with the Baltic and some other East European countries. The resources will be used to launch a relief fund for the Baltic countries, to open Nordic information offices in the Baltic capitals, to start cooperation projects between Baltic, the Soviet Union and the Nordic countries and some East-European states.
Joint delegation of the Friendship Society of the Arab Nations and the Parliament Friendship group of Arab Nations travelled to Iraq to negotiate about the release of 14 Finnish hostages. The delegation returned back home with five hostages.
The Finnish Ambassador to the UN, Klaus Törnudd, expressed his satisfaction with the UN Security Council decision to condemn the actions of Israel in East Jerusalem on 8.10. Törnudd considered it important that the Security Council complete an unanimous resolution which took notice of the situation of the Palestinian people in the areas occupied by Israel.
Delegation of the Nordic Council visited the Soviet Union for the first time. In Moscow the delegation had a meeting with the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet Council of the Union Ivan Laptev who requested the Council to inform Soviet citizens that the Nordic countries are not able to accept the estimated 6 million Soviet refugees. From Moscow the delegation travelled to Lithuania, Latvia and finally to Estonia where it met the Presidents of the Baltic nations. In connection with the meeting a joint declaration was given, which emphasized the Baltic struggle for independence. Economy, trade, culture and environmental protection were discussed.
Officials of the Finnish and Soviet Foreign Ministries conducted "security political consultations” in Moscow concerning the peace treaty solutions and the four-week old changes in the interpretations of FCMA-pact. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a notice that security political discussions are useful and worth continuing.
In the question time of the chief editors President Koivisto stated that there is reason to keep up the obligatory visas between Finland and the Soviet Union and to take seriously the immigration pressures of the Soviets. Koivisto rejected the idea that membership in the EC would be the only alternative to the EES. He found it possible to arrange future relations on the basis of EFTA, unless better agreements are concluded. When asked about the Near East crisis the President presumed that Iraq might possibly withdraw from Kuwait.
Director General of the UN Development Programme UNDP William H. Draper visited Finland to discuss the UNDP report with the Nordic auxiliaries. The report deals with human development.
The leading negotiators of EFTA and EC met in Brussels. All major controversial remained unchanged. The most difficult problem was the dispute over the EES decision making and institution. The EC introduced its own model which does not leave EFTA with any real authority. Solutions in the matter were postponed until December.
Deputy Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union Juli Kvitsinski delivered the Finnish Ambassador a notice according to which no nuclear weapons will be placed to vessels and aircrafts in the Baltic area during time of peace. The Soviet Union is ready to negotiate questions concerning the Baltic Sea.
During Parliament question time Foreign Minister Paasio stated that Finland will not ask Germany for compensations from the war of Lapland. The Foreign Minister estimated that requesting compensations would not be compatible with the positive development in Europe and urged Finnish representative Tennilä who questioned the subject to remember, that Finland must build good cooperation relations with Germany. Later, when the Germanies have joint address it will be theoretically possible to ask for compensations.
The Institute of International Affairs arranged a two-day seminar "Global Change and Finland” in the Dipoli of Espoo. Deputy Secretary-General of the 1992 UN Conference of Environment and Development Nitin Desai opened the seminar.
Finland will start negotiations with the Soviet Union to conclude an agreement on free trade between the states. The President of the Republic appointed a delegation to negotiate the agreement.
Unofficial ministerial meeting of EFTA was held in Geneva. Finland was represented by Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. In Geneva the ministers announced their readiness to trim their exception lists to the minimum. The decision was speeded by a message from Luxembourg in which the EC recognized the right of EFTA to take part in joint decision making.
The Government decided about the contents of the Finnish offer to GATT. According to the offer Finland will be ready to drop 60 per cent from the export subsidies of the agricultural products. Finland is prepared to drop 20-30 per cent from the so called domestic agricultural subsidies by means of agricultural policy. The subsidies would be dropped from the basic level of 1986 by the year 1996. Finland is ready to lower the level of import duties by 5-10 per cent according to the product.
International Moody's Company that rates creditworthiness dropped Finland from AAA-level to AA1-level. Norway and Denmark are in the same category with Finland.
Commander of the Defence Forces, Admiral Jan Klenberg believed that the Soviet Union has not placed new nuclear weapons close to Finnish borders. The defence forces do not believe that the troop transitions would change the military political situation in any decisive way. According to the international estimations the greatest changes will happen on the Baltic Sea, explained Klenberg.
Foreign Minister Paasio who spoke in the preliminary debate of the Government's development cooperation report, said that the Foreign Ministry plans to use the organizations of citizens as executors of governmental development cooperation projects. The organizations would take care of the projects and the Government would finance them. Mainly organizations that have established their position in the field of developmental aid come into question here. The experiment could start already next year.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Paasio introduced the Government report on security policy to the Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs.
The Soviet Union performed an underground nuclear test in Novaya Zemlya. One hour caner the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a notice informing that the Soviet Union will explode "a test charge during the next few days”. The Foreign Ministry was concerned about the explosion because of its environmental effects. Foreign Minister Paasio said in his statement that the Nordic countries hope that the agreement banning underground nuclear tests should be reached as soon as possible. Paasio said that informing in advance does not abolish the danger caused by the nuclear tests. Finnish peace organizations condemned the test. The organizations delivered a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Soviet Union in which they demanded explanation for starting nuclear tests after an interval of nearly twelve months.
The UN human rights committee quizzed Finland. The basis for the questioning was the third Finnish human rights report which was submitted to the world organization last year.
Eleven nature protection organizations of EFTA countries insisted that the governments of EFTA and EC countries should draft a joint European plan to curb the greenhouse effect. The organizations urged EFTA to prepare the agreement in connection with Geneva congress in November. The agreement would stabilize carbon dioxide discharges to the level of the year 1988, and by the year 2000 the discharges would be diminished further by 20 per cent.
Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen met Italian Foreign Trade Minister Renato Ruggiero. The main issues were present stages of EES- and GATT-negotiations.
The Government of Sweden took a more positive stand to the EC-membership as it published the so called economy crisis-package. The Swedish Government announced that it wants a new derision on the Swedish European policy from Parliament. Foreign Trade Minister Pertti Salolainen stated, like many other members of the Government that the Swedish contention does not change Finnish policy in EES-negotiations.
The Government imposed the EES follow-up committee to start investigating the replacement of Finnish EES exceptions list with transition regulations and exception clauses.
President and Mrs Koivisto left for an official visit to Portugal. During the visit Koivisto had meetings with President Mario Soares and Prime Minister Anibal Cavaco Silva. Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio participated the visit.
The Nordic countries expressed a joint opinion on the account of the nuclear test performed in Novaya Zemlya. The expression of opinion was delivered to Deputy Foreign Minister Viktor Karpov by the Nordic Ambassadors in Moscow. The Nordic countries made their representations on account of the nuclear test and asked the Soviet Union to invite Nordic expertise to participate in the security arrangements in the Novaya Zemlya test area. The Nordic countries also made public their willingness to host an international scientific symposium which would concentrate on preventing spread of radio-activity in connection with the nuclear tests.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Nordic Council and the Nordic Investment Bank arranged a meeting of Nordic and Eastern European ministers in Helsinki. The meeting prepared ground for the functions of Nordic Environment Financing Company NEFCO. In the meeting NEFCO accepted the first two investment targets, both in Poland.
The second conference on world climate was held in Geneva. Minister of the Environment Kaj Bärlund and Minister of Communication Ilkka Kanerva participated. The conference ended with the joint declaration of Japan and the European countries to freeze the use of the so-called greenhouse gases to the present level or to decrease the use of them during the next few years.
Commander of the Defence Forces, Admiral Jan Klenberg paid an official visit to the Soviet Union. The host of the visit was Army General Mikhail Moiseyev, Commander of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces. In addition to Moscow, Klenberg acquainted with the Soviet armed forces in Leningrad and Murmansk.
President Koivisto who visited Portugal was concerned about the deterioration of the intergovernmental cooperation between the Nordic countries. He considered premature the suggestion of Swedish Foreign Minister Sten Anderson that the members of EFTA, Finland, Sweden and Norway should start preparing a joint membership application to the European Community.
The EC and EFTA reached an agreement which improves cooperation in economy and monetary policies in the European Economic Space. According to the agreement the countries will reveale the main directions of their budgets already in advance.
Foreign ministers meeting of neutral and non-aligned CSCE countries took place in Helsinki. It was suggested that summits should be arranged every other year and foreign ministers meetings twice a year. A centre for conflicts should be established as well.
Deputy Chairman of Parliament Elsi Hetemäki-Olander and MP Kimmo Sasi introduced the final report of the Nordic Council Organizational Committee. The report suggested among other things that in the future the council would decide on the use of government appropriations. It was also suggested that the official session of the NC would be arranged at least twice a year and that the work of the council would be internationalized. Establishing an official council of the Nordic Foreign Ministers was proposed. Parliament representatives of other countries were wanted as neutral observers.
Among others the newspaper Uusi Suomi reported on disputes between Finland and Denmark over building bridges in the Danish straits. The Danish bridge plans threat to block the way of Finnish oil rigs to other seas of the world. Finland has delivered an official note on the Big-Belt bridge plans and demands for a technical solution which would allow transit of the oil drilling platforms.
At the National Defence Academy Association in Helsinki, Commander of the Defence Forces, Admiral Klenberg stressed that Finland should not change stability to uncertainty in defence questions. Klenberg reminded the association that the European security and military political situation is confused. Further, he considered right timing of the renewal of the interceptors as a vital condition to Finnish ability to maintain the sovereignty of its air space also in the 2000's.
Marine research ship Aranda researched the condition of the whole Gulf of Finland for the first time in history. The marine research cooperation treaty between Finland and the Soviet Union signed two years ago made it possible to get a general picture of the Gulf of Finland. The research on Aranda was conducted by a Finnish-Soviet working group.
Finnish Ambassadors stationed in the countries of the Persian Gulf area explained their views on the position and circumstances of the Finnish hostages still remaining in Iraq to the Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee. The Ambassadors had a meeting with the Finnish UN delegation and Foreign Minister Paasio.
The leader of the Helsinki PLO Office Zuheir al-Wazir received a telegram from PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who promised to continue his efforts to release the 9 Finnish hostages in Iraq.
The Chancellor of Åbo Akademie Jan-Magnus Jansson made public his opinion on the EC-membership proposal made by the Swedish Prime Minister Sten Anderson. It pays to invest in the EES, since not only does it give us more economic latitude but also grants Finland sovereignty in the foreign policy, said Jansson. Finland's great historical problem, the relationship with the Soviet Union requires latitude from the Finnish foreign policy.
According to the Commander of the General Staff, General-lieutenant Hägglund, Finland can not continue the traditional independent neutrality policy if it joins the EC. He said that either Finnish neutrality or the membership must be altered somehow, or the neutrality must be interpreted in a different way.
In the meeting of the Social Democratic party council the party softened its negative attitude towards the EC-membership. Foreign Minister Paasio was troubled by the fact that the EC already has a foreign policy of its own. The Chairman of the Helsinki district Paavo Lipponen said that it is high time Finland considered full membership. Lipponen's attitude was that concerns about joint foreign and security policy are ill-founded.
The relatives of the Finnish hostages in Iraq demand a high level negotiator to be sent to Iraq. According to Foreign Minister Paasio Finland can not officially send a representative to negotiate on the release of the remaining hostages in Iraq. Paasio said that the Government will continue its present policy in the hostage issue, which is to work through the Embassy in Iraq.
The working group of the Ministry of Justice delivered a proposal on the EES-organs to Minister of Justice Halonen. In the report the committee introduced six alternatives, four of which require amending the constitution or the Parliament Act.
In the interview of Minister of Defence Rehn in newspaper Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung it appeared that Finland has offered to train some units of the German army, possibly aimed at the UN peacekeeping operations, The Chief of the UN-office in the Ministry of Defence, Bjarne Ahlqvist found it possible to train UN-observers but not UN- soldiers.
President and Mrs Koivisto attended the enthronement celebrations of Emperor Akihito in Japan. During the visit President Koivisto had meetings with Prime Minister of Japan Toshiki Kaifu, President of Hungary Árpád Göncz, President of Austria Kurt Waldheim, General-Governor of Canada John Hnatyshyn, Chairman of the Yugoslavian Presidential Committee Borisav Jovic, Speaker of the Soviet Parliament Anatoli Lukyanov and Secretary General of the UN Javier Perez de Cueillai.
The Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee travelled for an eight-day visit to the United States. The delegation followed the session of the UN General Assembly and visited Washington.
The socialist parties of four Nordic countries would suppress the military alliances of West and East and would instead form a joint European security system. The CSCE countries should form a security council with authorities to settle disputes and use political and economic sanctions. In addition to this, special peacekeeping troops could be formed with support of the UN to prevent armed conflicts in Europe.
In the autumn session of the Nordic Council in Snekkersten, Denmark, the Danish Minister of Justice Hans Engell made public Danish efforts to maintain the Nordic Passport Union also after the EC signs the Border Convention on 6.12. in Rome. During the session the juridical committee decided about a joint Nordic refugee quota, which will result from uniting the quotas of different Nordic countries. Swedish Minister for Nordic Cooperation Mats Hallström suggested the formation of a Baltic Sea Commission in the seminar. Membership in the EC was the central issue of the seminar.
In national defence celebrations of the national defence guilds in Porvoo, Minister of Defence Rehn estimated that the European disarmament development, positive as such, may also have some negative effects on Finland. Cutting troops in Central Europe may lead to an increase in the Soviet forces in areas close to Finland, e.g. Kola peninsula and Karelia, Soviet airforce has already been transferred to Kola. On the other hand Rehn estimated, that majority of the troops will be transferred somewhere else along with the improving accommodation facilities.
Minister of Defence Rehn who spoke at the opening of defence training course stressed that Finland must avoid military vacuum with all possible means. Rehn expressed her concern over the fact that the front of Soviet defence is pushing forwards to east and north, in other words closer to Finland. According to the experts, Finland must carefully follow the domestic developments in the Soviet Union and concentrate in security policy. Above all, the President of the Republic is expected to show activity in our defence policy. In her speech Rehn urged to find out about the effects of integration on our security policy.
The Nordic Ministers of Defence Rome Carlsson from Sweden, Knud Enggaard from Denmark, Johan Jörgen Holst from Norway and Elisabeth Rehn from Finland inspected the UN training centre in Niinisalo. It appeared that the Centre is prepared to start training women for the peacekeeping forces as soon as it clears up what type of tasks they will be trained for.
Minister of the Environment Bärlund gave a speech on Nordic environmental policy in the UN assembly. He stressed the planning of an integrated forestry programme both in developing and industrialized countries.
The Åland County Council announced in a letter directed to the Finnish integration delegation that it probably rejects the EES-treaty unless the special position of Åland is not sufficiently taken into account. Obviously Åland is aiming for same kind of special treaty with the EC as have the Channel Islands, Faroe Islands and Greenland.
The EC delivered a strict agricultural proposition in which it demands Finland and five other EFTA countries to give up the tariffs and quotas restricting import of 65 agricultural products. The products make up a so called list of cohesion required by Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland. The EC demanded the EFTA countries to reduce the tariffs of the cohesion products by January 1993 at the latest, when the EES-treaty takes force. Before cancelling the tariffs and quotas EFTA wants to wait for the progress of GATT.
Parliament delegation of eight persons travelled for a one-week visit to China. The delegation was invited by the People's Congress of China.
At a lecture meeting arranged by the Union of Conscripts in Helsinki, researcher Tomas Ries from the Norwegian Institute of Military Science said that the nuclear strategies of the superpowers have not changed. Finland is still situated under the route of the cruise missiles. If the military articles of the FCMA-pact are still considered binding there is no room for compromises in the air defence. The old fighters must be replaced with new ones which can repell the cruise missiles.
President of Iraq Saddam Hussein promised that releasing the foreign hostages will start at Christmas. According to the Iraqi news agency the release of the hostages is a gesture of good will that can only take place in peaceful atmosphere. Representative Väyrynen said, that Hussein's offer does not put off the trip of the Finnish delegation. The objective is to get all Finns out of Iraq immediately.
The CSCE summit was held in Paris. At the end of the meeting leaders of 34 CSCE countries signed the new European charter which established a new Foreign Ministers Council of the CSCE countries, a conflict prevention centre in Vienna, a small secretariat to prepare the ministerial meetings in Prague and a unit to control the democracy of elections in Warsaw. The Finnish delegation was headed by President Koivisto. In connection with the summit President Koivisto had meetings with President of Czechoslovakia Vaclav Havel and President of Rumania Ion Iliescu. Foreign Minister Paasio had a meeting with Foreign Minister of the United States James Baker who inquired Finnish attitude towards the possible use of force in the Near East crisis.
In his statement concerning the Near-East crisis Foreign Minister Paasio said that Finland stresses the importance of peaceful solution. He also emphasized that we consider it important that the UN Security Council must make it clear to Iraq that the peaceful solution of the crisis requires the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait and restoring the sovereignty of the country. Finland is prepared to consider a resolution which allows use of all necessary means to obtain the goals set by the Security Council.
Development cooperation agreement between Finland and Namibia was signed in Windhoek, Namibia.
The Union meeting of Pohjola-Norden Youth Association suggested that the Nordic Prime Ministers should start negotiations on the methods with which the Nordic countries could help Soviet nationalities living close to them. The letter was directed to the Prime Ministers of the Nordic countries, to the Nordic Council of Ministers and to the Nordic Council.
Foreign Trade Ministers of the Nordic countries gathered in their annual meeting in Helsinki, invited by Foreign Trade Minister Salolainen. Central topics in the meeting were negotiations concerning the EES, GATT-negotiations and Nordic cooperation questions.
Seminar of the Planning Commission for Information on National Defence was held at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki. In the seminar it became apparent that Finland will have to re-estimate her security-policy situation due to the upheavals in Europe. The military focus will move further to the north. The importance of the Arctic areas will increase because of the nuclear submarines that move in the Arctic Ocean and the military concentration in Kola peninsula. Finland has anticipated the development and Lapland is no further a military vacuum.
The Nordic countries suggested the formation of permanent UN peacekeeping forces because the idea is more feasible now that the cold war is over. The issue was introduced by the Norwegian representative in the UN.
Soviet-Karelia will open a mission in Helsinki. Karelian representative will take up quarters in the Soviet Embassy like the Estonian representative who has already started work. Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers Sergei Jaskunov told about the decision in Petroskoi. Finnish consulate in Leningrad will open a branch department in Petroskoi beginning December 1st to clear the backlog in visa applications treatment.
Foreign Minister Paasio sent a letter to the Foreign Minister of Iraq Tariq Aziz. In the letter he appealed to the leaders of Iraq to let the Finnish citizens and other foreigners out of the country. Paasio told also that he has been informed about the plans of the Finnish politicians to visit Iraq.
In a speech handed out to the media representative Väyrynen said he does not understand the criteria on the basis of which the integration is being developed. According to Väyrynen the main benefit from the integration has been reached through the realization of the free trade.
The Institute of International Affairs arranged a seminar on the Soviet Union in Tuusula. The international three-day seminar was opened by the Director of the Institute Paavo Lipponen and the opening speakers were Roy Allison, Ksenja Gonchar, Jyrki Iivonen, Priit Järve, Neil Malcolm, Heinz Timmermann, Pekka Visuri, Gennadi Vorontsov ja Gerhard Wettig.
The Green League held an autumn meeting in Joutseno. In the meeting the Greens opposed Finnish EC-membership but considered the EES-treaty as possible. Instead of Western integration the party stressed cooperation in the Baltic area and Karelia. The party suggested formation of a special Baltic Sea council, similar to the Nordic Council.
Finnish delegation consisting representative Väyrynen and the Chief General Manager of STS-Bank Ulf Sundqvist, secretary of the delegation Mikko Lohikoski and specialist Kari Vanamo (Finnish Red Cross) travelled to Baghdad to negotiate on the release of Finnish hostages. It appeared, that Finnish foreign policy and activities in the UN Security Council, especially the statement of Marjatta Rasi, the chairman of the UN Sanctions Committee, on the possible misuse of medicine strained the relations between the two countries. The delegation received a note that the hostages will be released. The delegation and the released hostages returned back to Finland.
Foreign Minister Paasio paid an official visit to the Federal Republics of Czech and Slovakia at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jiri Dienstbier. During his visit Paasio had meetings with President Vaclav Havel and Prime Minister Marian Calfan.
Prime Minister Holkeri, who spoke in the annual meeting of the Paasikivi-Society, rejected the EC-membership more clearly than before. In his opinion Finnish neutrality policy can not be combined with full membership in the EC. Holkeri reminded of President Koivisto's earlier statement noting that the present kind of free trade agreement with EC would be no catastrophy to Finland (society hand-out series number 99).
According to the Chairman of the Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Aaltonen the Government should have informed and listened to the Foreign Affairs Committee in connection with the CSCE meeting, before Foreign Minister Paasio gave the government statement on the situation in the Gulf of Persia. According to him, parliament acceptance would be required in case Finland engaged to provide the UN Security Council with armed forces.
The Finns and the Soviets will plan a programme to clean the fallouts in the areas of Estonia, Karelia and Leningrad. Majority of the resources come from the Soviets but also some Finnish money will be granted for the projects. The stipulations will be made by four Finnish consultants. At the end of January 1991 there will be meetings in Tallinn, Petroskoi and Leningrad in which the stipulations are examined.
The centre parties of the Nordic countries introduced a proposal on intergovernmental Nordic aid programme to relief the food situation in the Soviet Union next winter. The aid was to be directed to areas neighbouring the Nordic countries. The appeal was introduced by Party Secretaries of Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian Centre Parties.
The UN Security Council voted in favour of the new resolution which allows "use of all necessary measures” if Iraq does not agree to follow the decisions of the Security Council by the 15th of January. Twelve countries, Finland among them, voted in favour of the resolution. The meeting was conducted on the ministerial level and Foreign Minister Paasio spoke for Finland at the session.
During the last ten days Finland has tried to facilitate the treatment of the Palestine question in the UN Security Council sessions. This came out from the statements of Under-Secretary of State Karhilo in Helsinki. The purpose is to improve the security of the Palestinians in the areas occupied by Israel. The resolution suggested increasing the UN presence and nominating a special commissar to investigate the complaints of the Palestinians.
According to representative Eeva Kuuskoski-Vikatmaa a referendum on joining the EES should be arranged in Finland.
It appeared that the Foreign Ministry of Denmark has taken a positive stand towards Finnish demand of taking oil rigs out through the Big-Belt. The Foreign Ministry of Denmark has asked the Ministry of Communications to find out if it were technically possible to built a lift mechanism in one of the bridges, that would enable the transit of the 200 metre-high oil drilling platforms.
In a discussion about the European Commission representative Väyrynen and the Chief Manager Sundqvist wanted to improve Nordic cooperation and make the Nordic area a powerful factor in integrating Europe. The goal was to create a joint Nordic policy. Väyrynen did not exclude the possibility of Finnish membership in the EC, provided that the elements of foreign and security policy disappear from the organization. Sundqvist again clearly supported the EC-membership of the Nordic countries.
In his article in journal Ulkopolitiikka (4/10) Foreign Minister Paasio said that in territorial conflicts the central principles of Finnish foreign policy will be "neutrality, respect of the UN charter and striving for good relations with all countries”, He also said that Finland aims at peaceful solutions, In the same journal foreign Ministers James Baker and Eduard Shevardnadze estimated the effects of superpower detente on territorial conflicts.
Foreign Minister Paasio asked the Ambassador of Iraq, Anwar Abdul Al-Hadith, to take prompt actions to release the Finnish hostages still remaining in Iraq.
In a press meeting President Koivisto took the responsibility for the decision on the basis of which Finland voted for the UN resolution that allows use of force against Iraq in the crisis of the Persian Gulf. The decision had been criticized in public. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Markus Aaltonen criticized the Government for not hearing the committee before specifying the Finnish standpoint. The issue was discussed in the Presidential Residence when the Foreign Affairs Committee visited the President. In the meeting it was agreed that the committee will define how it is to be informed and what is the role of Parliament in foreign policy decision making and whether alterations should be made in the constitution.
According to the Deputy Chairman of the Leftist Union Kari Uotila Finland must soon start sending food and medicine to the Soviet Union. In Leningrad he presumed that assistance is needed from the state and private citizens as well. The aid should be directed to areas close to Finland.
The Government decided on development aid for years 1991-1994. During this period Kenya will receive the majority of Finnish aid (110 million FIM per year). Finland decided to keep the development aid on the same level despite the severe violations of human rights by the Kenyan Government and despite the joint issue given by the Nordic development cooperation ministers, who, for example, supported connecting development aid with democracy and the respect of the human rights.
Dozens of countries congratulated Finland who celebrated independence. In his telegram President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev characterized the relations between Finland and the Soviet Union to be moving towards a new state. The relations between the two countries have become more open, more intimate and more intelligible.
In his article in Helsingin Sanomat Max Jacobson said that the FCMA-pact is developing into a burden to Finland. As a consequence of the CSCE charter signed in Paris, the government treaties concluded during the period of ideological confrontations are now put under examination. Moscow is building a new network of treaties with new West-European cooperation companions on the basis of the CSCE principles. Already, the Soviet Union has treaties with Germany, Italy and France. It is in accordance with the Finnish interest to look after the fact that our eastern neighbour can trust our will and ability to follow a foreign policy line which guarantees that Finnish territory can not be used for attacking the East.
Iraq promised to release all hostages by Christmas. The Foreign Ministry of Finland received information on the release. The decision concerned the three Finns remaining in Iraq.
The Union meeting of Pohjola-Norden Youth Association insisted the Nordic countries to give immediate food assistance to the Soviet Union. In the declaration the Union underlined that the Nordic foreign ministers must take action in order to relieve the situation in the Soviet Union.
Minister of Foreign Trade Salolainen told that the EFTA-countries may be compelled to grant millions of Marks to a fund supporting development of the poorest EC-countries. The fund is included in the EES-treaty. Salolainen told that the proposal for the fund came from the EC and that the governments participating the negotiations are now examining the proposal.
A five-member delegation representing the National Congress of Kuwait arrived in Finland. The purpose of the delegation was to give Finnish leaders an account on the situation in Kuwait and views about the crisis of the Gulf. During the visit the delegation visited Parliament, had meetings with the Speaker Sorsa, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Aaltonen and Foreign Minister Paasio.
Rumanian-Hungarian Bishop László Tőkés appealed through the Loviisa peace forum the Finnish and democratic forces in the whole world to receive support for his actions in Rumania. In a telefax-message he sent to Loviisa Tőkés told among other things that the Rumanian Front of National Liberation wants him imprisoned. He is being accused of planning a new revolution and resisting the government.
One of the three Finnish hostages arrived in Rome on the plane of Iraqi Airways.
The Finnish Ambassador to the UN will be changed. President of the Republic appointed Ambassador Klaus Törnudd a consulting official of the Foreign Ministry beginning 1 July 1991. Councellor of Foreign Affairs Wilhelm Breitenstein will take Törnudd's post in New York.
Douglas Stafford, Deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees, paid an official visit to Finland in connection with the 25th anniversary of the Finnish Refugee Aid Organization. During his visit Stafford negotiated with Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio, Minister of Social Affairs and Health Tuulikki Hämäläinen and Under Secretary of State Ilkka Ristimäki. In the Paasikivi-Society Stafford held a lecture on the subject "Refugees; A New Challenge in a Changing World”.
The Foreign Ministry informed that Deputy Prime Minister Stepan Sitaryan of the Soviet Union has announced that the change to exchangeable currencies in east-trade will realize already at the end of this year. Despite Finnish hopes there will be no transition period. Finnish delegation travelled to the Soviet Union to negotiate on practical measures by which the clearing-system will be cancelled.
High level negotiation group of EFTA and EC had a meeting in Brussels. The negotiators reached consensus over establishing EES-council and parliament. The Commission of Europe agreed to allow the representatives of EFTA-countries to take part in the committees preparing EES-regulations. On the other hand the EC wanted to keep the EFTA countries apart from the actual EC legislation work.
Finnish Red Cross (SPR) sent children's medicine to Iraq. The consignment was worth 400 000 FIM. The UN Sanctions Committee has given a permission for the consignment.
Prime Minister Holkeri told that the Government is preparing a decision on the aid to the Soviet Union. He told the Government is in complete state of readiness and that if needed, supplementary decisions will be made. If the Government decides to grant the aid it can be channelled through the SN-Society or SPR.
Prime Minister Holkeri who gave a speech in the Union of Foreign Trade regarded as short-sighted the expressions of relief heard few days ago. He said that Finnish agriculture did not receive extra time after the stranding of GATT-negotiations. On the contrary, it received a reminder of the problems that are on their way from the world. The negotiations did not abolish the need to continue the domestic agricultural reform either.
An assistance consignment collected by the Friends of Lithuania organization which consisted 570 kg medicine was sent to Lithuania from Helsinki. The medicine was presented by Orion pharmaceutical plant to the Lithuanian Children's Foundation and especially to the children's home of Panevezys.
The Government decided to form a committee to reconcile the assistance projects of Eastern Europe. Senior Inspector Kalervo Hentilä from the Ministry of Trade and Industry was nominated as head of the group. Members from five different ministries will participate the work. Finland has not received official request for help from the Soviet Union. Prime Minister Holkeri told that the aid is mainly directed to areas near Finland. FIM 36 million has been reserved for the East-aid in next year's budget.
The last of the Finnish hostages flew from Baghdad to Amman, Jordania, on a plane of Iraqi airline company. Also the second last Finnish hostage was told to have arrived in Turkey.
The Swedish Parliament gave the Government free hands to apply for the membership in EC. The application will probably be submitted next year. When questioned, Foreign Minister Paasio stated that Finland has no special reason to change its European policy.
The determining question of the possible EC-membership of neutral countries is whether the EC is developing into a military alliance. This was emphasized by Paul Luif, researcher of the Austrian Institute of International Affairs, in Helsinki. According to Luif only in that case membership of neutral countries in the EC is out of question.
Prime Minister of Lithuania, Kazimiera Prunskiene, visited Finland at the request of the Central Chamber of Commerce. During her visit she had meetings with Minister of Education Norrback, Prime Minister Holkeri and Minister of Communications Kanerva. The cautious Baltic policy of Finland annoyed Prime Minister Prunskiene who did not find support for the Lithuanian independence aspirations.
In the newspaper Demari the Speaker of Parliament Sorsa promised to take a positive stand in case he is requested to enter the office of the Prime Minister or to candidate for Presidency. Sorsa said he is ready to face the challenge. He did not find it likely that the neutral Finland would become full member of the EC in 1990's, since EC is on its way to develop into a federation with a joint defence policy. Sorsa did not see any reasons why Finland should give up neutrality.
Official ministerial meeting of EFTA was held in Geneva. The Finnish delegation was chaired by Minister of Foreign Trade Pertti Salolainen, who warned the EFTA front of breaking up at this point of the EES-negotiations. The meeting dealt with the relations between the EC and EFTA, especially the EES-negotiations and the GATT Uruguay-round. In addition to these the ministers discussed relations between EFTA and the third countries. They concentrated especially in the countries of Eastern Europe and Turkey and the free-trade negotiations conducted with them.
Prime Minister Holkeri elaborated his views on the possible EC-membership application of Finland. According to Holkeri, the main question is whether a neutral country can be a member of EC. The solution to this equation has not become easier Holkeri underlined, that neutrality is not outdated and reminded that in the end, neutrality is preparing for the worst.
Finnish Industry and the Government have frozen the East European Investment Fund they planned in September (Capital FIM 200 millions). The reason to this is the confused economic and political situation in East European countries. The companies and the state are not interested in investing millions of Marks under these circumstances.
Uusi Suomi revealed that the Soviets are not going to restore high-level nuclear waste close to the Leningrad nuclear plants. Instead, they will be recycled at a treatment plant built in Urals. The Finnish Centre for Radiation and Nuclear Safety agreed with the leader of the nuclear plant inspection group, Arthur Petrov, that the Finns can inspect the plants.
Foreign Minister Paasio was delivered an address signed by 10 400 people who demanded the PLO Helsinki office to be closed and its leader Zuheir al-Wazir declared as unwanted person in Finland. The address noted that al-Wazir had exceeded his powers and interfered in the domestic matters of Finland when dealing with the transit of Soviet Jews.
The Planning Commission for Information on National Defence (MTS) had a poll made by Taloustutkimus Oy in which 1881 Finns were interviewed between October and November. The interviews revealed that the refugees have shaken Finnish feeling of security and that the Finnish attitudes towards foreigners have grown clearly more radical than before. Majority of Finns wanted to direct the aid straight to the sources of the refugee problem.
In an extraordinary Parliament session discussing next year budget Minister for Defence Rehn supported the present level in defence appropriations. According to her the changed situation and new arms limitation treaties do not give reason for re-estimations. Minister Rehn also said that Finland will not participate actions on the Persian Gulf under any circumstances.
Max Jacobson, who has been rewarded for his merits in foreign policy, was satisfied with the increase of UN Security Council authority in accordance with the wishes of Finland and other small states. Jacobson was especially happy about the fact that Finland can now participate in the decision-making of the Security Council which has now reached the possibility to function in practice. According to Jacobson, traditional Finnish foreign policy line is now changing from a focus on security towards a more economic European direction. According to him this does not mean giving up the neutral policy altogether.
In the interview in TV 3 the leader of the PLO Yasser Arafat criticized the Finnish UN-policy in handling of the Palestine resolution. Arafat hoped that the Finnish representative in the Security Council would take the Palestinian side and would stop following the US line which aims at slowing down the resolution process.
Researcher Tiit Kallaste from the Economic Institute of the Estonian Academy of Science lectured on Estonian environmental problems and the finance of Estonian environmental policy in Oulu. The seminar found that the discharges of the Estonian oil shale plants and sulphur discharges of the Estonian industry are as big as the discharges in the whole of Finland.
Forestry Ministers of European countries gathered in Strasbourg to compile a survey out of the research results accomplished on the condition of the forests so far. Finland was represented by Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Toivo T. Pohjala, who gave the opening speech. The meeting produced a declaration which listed objectives for the European forest protection. Next meeting will be held in Finland 1993. In the arrangements Finland will be assisted by Poland and Portugal.
Four Finnish cargo ships are leaving for the Persian Gulf carrying military equipment. According to the managing director of the Shipping Organization Per Forsskåhl the ships do not carry ammunitions or tanks but equipment that may be needed in the conflict.
The Parliament Foreign Policy Committee examined the memorandum which took positions on the dispute between President Koivisto and chairman of the committee Aaltonen concerning the interpretation of the Parliamentary Act. The memorandum explained, that on basis of the Parliamentary Act the Government should have given some preliminary information to the committee about Finland's opinion on the anti-Iraq actions in the UN Security Council.
In a statement given by Foreign Minister Paasio the Finnish Government expressed deep regrets on Israel's recent decision to expel the Palestinians. He added that Finland works in the Security Council in order to bring about a resolution which would improve the position of the Palestinians in the occupied areas.
In a UN information meeting Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio explained the soon concluding term of Finland in the Security Council and last year's topics in the UN General Assembly. He considered the crises of Kuwait and the Near East as the most difficult questions during the period Finland attended the council. According to him Finland has acted consistently and has emphasized the rights of small countries. In addition to this, the Foreign Minister considered groundless the critique on the Finnish UN policy expressed by PLO leader Yasser Arafat. The Finnish former Ambassador to the UN, chief editor Keijo Korhonen, presumed that Security Council has turned into a tool of the United States, and Finland has been taken by the current of events caused by the Near East conflict. He said that the neutrality policy has served our interests well. Korhonen thinks the world has not changed so much that the superpower conflicts were history, or that Finland should express opinions for or against.
The Soviet Union does not complete customs reform by the end of the year. The reform will be postponed at least until the beginning of March 1991. According to Deputy Manager of Department Leif Fagernäs from the Foreign Ministry this means that the trade between Finland and the Soviet Union remains untariffed at least for the present.
The economic changes and their consequences in Eastern Europe and in areas close to Finland will be examined by a special working group. The decision on the issue was given by the Government.
The Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee requested the Government to consider methods by which it could support positive developments in South Africa. The opinion of the Committee was recorded in a report dealing with joint Nordic Fund supporting the SADCC-countries north of South Africa. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Aaltonen thinks that Finland should raise the diplomatic relations with South Africa to the ambassador level and to start cancelling the economic sanctions.
Ministerial meeting of EC and EFTA was held in Brussels. Finland was represented by Ministers Paasio and Salolainen. The major achievement of the meeting was establishment of an EES Council where the ministers of EC and EFTA can meet. A joint organ will be established to control the execution and functioning of the economic space rules.
Foreign Ministers of the Nordic and Baltic countries gathered in the opening of three Baltic information offices in Copenhagen. Finland was represented at the occasion by Foreign Minister Paasio. At the end of the meeting a joint resolution of the Baltic and Nordic countries was accepted in which the Foreign Ministers found negotiations necessary to realize the independence hopes of the Baltic nations. The meeting was the first joint gathering of Baltic and Nordic Foreign Ministers.
Nordic Foreign Ministers have decided to increase efficiency of cooperation of their missions especially in crisis situations. The possibility to increase already established cooperation between the Nordic countries is under consideration. The subject was agreed upon in an official level meeting in Oslo in November.
Foreign Minister Paasio sent a letter to the Foreign Minister of Iraq in which he stressed the importance of a peaceful solution in the crisis of the Persian Gulf. A quick political breakthrough would secure the peaceful solution and expel the threat of war. Peaceful solution to the crisis would create prerequisites for solving problems in the whole of Middle East.
The Consultative Committee of International Human Rights Affairs which assists the Foreign Ministry delivered the final document to Foreign Minister Paasio. The Committee hoped for more active measures from Finland in human rights issues.
During Prime Minister's question-time Holkeri regarded the developments in the Soviet Union as quite frightening. He referred especially to Soviet allusions to use force when solving crisis situations. Holkeri stressed the strive for neutral policy so that "the Finns could avoid at least some problematic situations'.
More than four fifths of Finnish young people think that Finland should apply for membership in the EC. According to the HS gallup in November 81 per cent of the 18-24 years old support the membership application and only little over 10 per cent does not regard it as desirable. The supporters of the EC-membership application are a majority in the biggest parties excluding the Centre and the Leftist Union.
The future Chairman of the Karelian League Rauno Meriö said that the League will not demand the return of the Karelian territory, but required that the discussion on Karelia must not be suppressed, not even by the political leaders of Finland.
In the interview published in the newspaper Lapin Kansa Foreign Minister Pertti Paasio regarded the Soviet famine as exaggeration. He told that Finland has plans in case of the possible flow of refugees.
President Koivisto was told to have greeted the peacekeepers. He considered the situation in the Near East the most difficult and most demanding field in the work of Finnish peacekeepers and the UN. Koivisto reminded that as a member of the Security Council Finland has aimed at promoting peaceful solution in the area.
Minister for Trade and Industry Suominen signed two official records that ended the clearing trade between Finland and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union had confirmed the issue by the signature of Konstantin Katushev, Minister for Foreign Economic Relations. In the first record there was a new general trade agreement for the years 1991—1995. The second record agreed on the technique by which the present clearing trade will be cancelled.
The Airforce will acquire seven new Hawk jet fighters. The acquisitions worth 350 million FIM were signed on 28.12. in Helsinki. The planes will be received during the year 1993.
In a poll made by MTS, 79 per cent considered the foreign policy as well handled, whereas the figure six months ago was 67 per cent. 59 per cent considered the FCMA-treaty positive to the international position of our country (1989 72 per cent). FCMA-pact was estimated negative by 13 per cent (1989 7 per cent).
In his New Year's Speech Prime Minister Holkeri called for the need to develop Nordic cooperation. In Holkeri's opinion the Nordic countries should find new and concrete basis for the continuation of traditional cooperation. In addition to this, Finland should prepare for the problems caused by the domestic upheaval of the Soviet Union.