Dokumentarkiv och kronologi för Finlands utrikespolitik

År 1976 i Finlands utrikespolitik


Chairman of the Coalition Party's youth organization Ilkka Kanerva criticized the Party for not taking a firm enough stand on views expressed by the Party's right wing and conflicting with the Party's line in foreign policy. Slightly later, Party Chairman Harri Holkeri suggested considering separating the youth organization from the Party. Conflicts between Party leadership and the youth organization flared up several times during the year.


Norwegian Law of the Sea Minister Jens Evensen visited Finland and expressed Norway's hope for Finnish support in securing Norwegian fishing interests and the recognition of her 200 mile economic zone. The Foreign Ministry promised to refrain from protesting the establishment of the zone, but said that Finland's position on the 200 mile limit would be defined only after the Law of the Sea Conference had drawn up its Convention.


The IMF raised its member contributions, consequently raising the ceiling of Finland's special drawing right to 275.5 million mk.


Coalition Party Chairman Holken demanded that Foreign Minister Sorsa retract certain statements made in an interview for the periodical Suomen Kuvalehti. Sorsa had said that at the time he conceived of no one in the Coalition Party who could be placed in a position of responsibility for foreign policy. The non-socialist press strongly criticized Sorsa's statements.


In the parliamentary debate on the budget, Foreign Minister Kalevi Sorsa noted that the economically difficult situation would also reflect on foreign affairs. The general debate on foreign policy was relatively short, and touched on the shortage of money for development cooperation, the CSCE and the Coalition Party's argument about Finland's official foreign policy.


Concurrent Swedish and Finnish research on the respective press' approach to each others' affairs concluded that Swedish press treatment of Finland is neutral and balanced, but lacking in depth. Sweden was fourth in order of coverage in the Finnish press. The Swedish press is most interested in Finnish internal affairs, and gives even non-political questions a political colouring, while the Finnish press is most concerned with Swedish external relations.


The Finnish Broadcasting Company and the Soviet TV and Radio Committee signed a cooperation agreement.


On returning from a meeting for the leaders of Socialist and Social Democratic parties from 17 countries held in Helsingör, SDP party secretary Ulf Sundqvist stated that the SDP emphasized that European Social Democrats cannot draw up a joint programme opposed to cooperation with Communists.


Outokumpu Oy bought 40 % of the shares of an Ecuadorian mining company, and agreed to deliver a copper concentration plant.


Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Lauri Sutela stated that the armed forces cannot carry out their task if their share of the budget continues to be reduced.


Constitutional reform rose to the fore in negotiations on Prime Minister Martti Miettunen's Government programme. The left demanded that the majority rules and rules about legislation lying dormant be renewed in the partial reform of the Constitution. 4.3. After four months of negotiations the programme was completed. 1.4. In its economic programme, Cabinet declared that it would try to reduce the trade deficit from the present nearly 8 Bmk to 2.5 bmk within five years. To this aim, consumption must be reduced and cash flows directed to the needs of export industry. SKDL (the Finnish People's Democratic League) ministers considered this in conflict with the Government programme, as it placed the balance of payments before employment.


Finland and Honduras established diplomatic relations.


Finnish-Swedish agreement on the right of each other's fishermen to fish in the other's fishing waters entered into force. Finnish-Rumanian agreement on cooperation in tourism entered into force.


Valmet Oy signed an arrangement on the delivery of a 60 million mk paper machine to Norway.


Foreign Minister Sorsa brought up the thought of the Soviet Union and other Socialist countries participation in multilateral economic cooperation in Northern Europe, and explicitly mentioned the Nordic Investment Bank and cooperation in the field of energy. In Norway some days later, Sorsa had to clarify his conceptions. His suggestion, he stressed, did not imply changing traditional forms of Nordic cooperation.


SDP condemned the World Bank decision to grant Chile a substantial credit.


The Finnish Steamship Company's announcement that it was ordering four ships from South Korea was criticized by the Communist press on grounds of Finland's current- account trade deficit.


Finland and Iran signed a trade agreement in Helsinki. (Finnish-Iranian trade in 1975 was 777 million mk, making Iran Finland's most important non-European trading partner after the USA.)


A group of inspectors from the Foreign Ministry travelled to Paris to examine working conditions at the Finnish Embassy and Mission to the OECD. The inspection and Ministry personnel policy in general had been the subject of lively debate.


Finland recognized the People's Republic of Angola. Recognition required that the Angolan Government be in control of the whole of Angola. On 18.9. Finland and Angola established diplomatic relations.


Professor Bengt Broms was elected chairman of the committee examining the UN Charter and the position of the UN.


The Armed Forces Committee, which was set up to examine the efficient social adjustment of the armed forces, in its report suggested increasing parliamentary control of the armed forces and the establishing of a legislative defence council, as well as numerous organisational changes.


The Nordic Council's 24th plenary session began in Copenhagen. The agenda was headed by energy questions, the British-Icelandic fishing dispute and the question of simultaneous interpretation. The Session approved about twenty recommendations, including recommendations for the founding of a joint Nordic organ for tourism, the validity of Nordic drivers licenses in the entire Nordic area. 1.3. The Council demanded that British warships be withdrawn from Icelandic waters.


New Finnish-Albanian 5-year trade agreement entered into force.


President Urho Kekkonen had been Finland's Head of State for twenty years. Kekkonen ran for President already in 1950, but was defeated by Paasikivi. In 1956, he won by the narrowest possible majority, he was re-elected in 1962, and in 1968 there was no doubt about his re-election. In 1973 Parliament passed exceptional legislation prolonging Kekkonen's term by four years to the end of February 1978. By the summer of 1976, the 1978 election results seemed clear, as all the major parties had expressed their support for Kekkonen. SDP, the Communist Party, the Coalition Party and the Liberals made their decisions already in the summer of 1975.


Chairman Aarne Saarinen officially greeted the 25th CPSU Party Congress, on behalf of the Finnish Communist Party (CPF).


In an interview for TASS, President Kekkonen noted that the 25th CPSU Congress had aroused considerable interest both in Finland and abroad, and that Finland and the Soviet Union had cooperated closely to achieve many of the goals set out in the Peace Programme approved by the previous CPSU Congress.


Finnish-Canadian agreement on nuclear-energy cooperation.


Cabinet extended the so-called K-guarantees to cover building contracts abroad. The guarantees recompense losses caused to long-term contracts by the rise of the domestic level of costs. The decision was intended to speed up negotiations on the Kostamus project (see 30.11.) .


The President repealed indefinitely the Finnish-Turkish agreement from 1954 on the abolition of visas. Finnish-Greek trade agreement came into force.


Stockholm public prosecutor decided to charge four Finnish and one Swedish Social Democrats with breaking foreign currency regulations, and the Swedish Bank demanded that the 194 800 crowns found by Arlanda airport customs officials in 1975 be forfeited to the state.


The first part of President Kekkonen's book "Kirjeita myllystäni” (Letters from my Mill) was published. The President said he was making the letters public above all to reinforce our official foreign policy.


The statement of a seminar organized by the Finnish committee for the promotion of European security stressed the binding nature of the CSCE Final Act.


Finnish-Soviet agreement on cooperation in the fields of health care, medicine and social welfare (came into force 13.8.).


Kymi Oy reported that it was buying Tampella's 25 % share of European Pulp and Paper, in Canada, which in Finland's largest foreign investment.


Finland and Poland signed their trade agreement for 1976. Finnish imports of Polish coal were reduced considerably, as Finland's 1975 deficit with Poland was to a great extent due to coal imports.


The planned 35th anniversary celebration of an organization of former SS-men in Seinäjoki was called off by the Ministry of the Interior, which considered the celebration to be of a potentially damaging nature to Finland's foreign relations.


Finland was reported to be receiving a 510 million mk oil credit from the IMF.


Finland considers as important suggestions for special conferences for the CSCE countries on environmental conservation, traffic and power economy, observed Foreign Minister Sorsa, speaking in Helsinki.


Laivateollisuus Oy and the Soviet V/O Sudoimport signed an agreement on the building of twelve dry- freight ships between 1978 and 1980.


Parliament passed a law on Nordic citizens' suffrage and eligibility to run in communal elections. It opened suffrage to about 1 500 Nordic citizens living in Finland. A corresponding law was passed in Sweden in 1975, and the reform will be implemented in the other Nordic countries before their next communal elections.


The 28th anniversary of the FCMA Treaty was celebrated in Finland and the Soviet Union. The Heads of State sent each other telegrams and the countries exchanged delegations. On 5.4 Izvestija had commented that Soviet-Finnish friendship is not dependent on changes in international politics, but that good neighbourly relations have become truly irreversible.


Cabinet approved the supplementary purchase of Draken fighters from Sweden included in the 1976 budget. The purchase was worth 63 million mk and was, according to the Ministry of Defence, intended for training purposes, and to make the Lappish flying detachment a workable unit. A parliamentary majority supported the purchase, although SKDL voted against it.


The first official Finnish delegation travelled to Mozambique to discuss development cooperation.


Finnish-East German agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation.


At the UPI conference in Mexico City the most important meeting for the Finnish delegation was that of the CSCE countries. At Finland's suggestion, a 14-country working group was appointed to follow the implementation of the Final Act, make recommendations and prepare the next CSCE at parliamentary level.


In his speech at the opening of the Finnish cultural days in Prague, Minister of Education Kivistö noted that the new political atmosphere in Europe facilitates strengthening existing cultural ties.


Answering a question in Parliament concerning an article in the journal Sotilasaikakauslehti (Military Review) demanding the scrapping of the Paris Peace Treaty and agitation against the FCMA Treaty, Foreign Minister Sorsa noted that the opinions expressed were without a doubt in conflict with our foreign policy.


Finnish-British agreement on cultural exchange (came into force 13.8.).


Finland delivered the last of the three 36 000 HP icebreakers ordered by the Soviet Union.


The Åland provincial government applied for its own representation at Nordic Ministerial Council meetings discussing questions related to Åland.


Representatives of Finland, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland met in Helsinki to discuss developments since the Security Conference and to search for common guidelines for the Belgrade conference. The four neutral countries agreed to keep up close contact on the issue.


A delegation headed by Minister of Health and Social Affairs Irma Toivanen attended the WHO Assembly in Geneva.


The harbour strike ended that had closed Finnish ports for one month.


The Communists refused to approve a sales tax rise on which the other ruling parties had agreed, making Cabinet cooperation difficult. 13.5. Prime Minister Miettunen submitted his Cabinet's resignation. President Kekkonen called together the party leaders and suggested that the crisis be solved by allowing SKDL to vote against the tax rise. All ruling parties approved the plan, and on 18.5. Miettunen withdrew his request for resignation, at the President's request.


Finnish-Saudi Arabian agreement on economic, industrial and technological cooperation (came into force 19.8.).


At UNCTAD IV in Nairobi, Minister of Foreign Trade Sakari Lehto stated that because of the domestic economic situation, Finland cannot achieve the UN target for aid by a set date. Finland supported the integrated commodity programme and the establishing of buffer stocks, and stated her preparedness to participate in a joint fund.


Pravda published an extensive article on Finnish-Soviet trade, commenting that relations were exemplary, but noting that there were influential circles in Finland who were not pleased by the development of economic cooperation.


Finland and Tanzania signed a 20 million mk development credit agreement, in connection with President Nyerere's visit to Finland.


The Foreign Ministry set up a CSCE Committee to follow the implementation of CSCE decisions and to provide a channel for information between the Ministry and national organizations.


Cabinet appointed the fourth Council for Development-Cooperation Affairs, to advise the Foreign Ministry in development questions.


Kontram Oy signed an 85 million mk export agreement with Soviet foreign trade concerns.


Parliament passed the law on the establishment of the Nordic Investment Bank. 27.5. Cabinet decided that the founding agreement would enter force on 1.6., and appointed Finland's representatives to the Bank's governing body. SKDL was opposed to Finnish participation in the Bank, on the grounds that it would increase our economic and political dependence on Western Europe. In its report of 4.5. on the Bank, Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee stipulated that the Bank not exclude Socialist markets and that it in its work take into consideration differences in development between the Nordic countries. 26.11. The Bank's first loan was granted to Imatran Voima for building Finland's share of a Nordic power transmission network.


The Nordic Social Democratic party secretaries met in Sörmark, Norway.


The Foreign Ministry announced that Finnish-South African trade is being examined taking into consideration Finland's obligations as a member of the UN. The Ministry contended allegations in the West German press that Finland was preparing to break off diplomatic relations with South Africa. These were based on a statement by President Kekkonen that our trade with South Africa (0.3 % of total trade) could be broken off.


New Finnish-Yugoslavian 3-year agreement on the implementation of their agreement on cultural exchange.


Cabinet set aside the decision, based on UN resolutions, prohibiting Finland from exporting arms to Portugal.


An agreement on the Finnish contracts for stage II of Svetogorsk in SU, worth about 700 million mk and employing about 1700 workers, was signed in Imatra.


Economic sanctions against Rhodesia were extended to, inter alia, insurance. The decision complemented our 1968 ban on all trade with Rhodesia.


The CPF demanded that the Foreign Ministry change its decision to send an observer to the OAS meeting in Santiago de Chile.


The CSCE and disarmament were among the most important subjects discussed at the peace conference for the Baltic countries and Norway held in Helsinki.


Finnish department head Reino Rissanen was elected one of the vice chairmen of UNICEF.


The Soviet Union invited Finland and four other countries to send observers to military manoeuvres in Soviet-Karelia. During the year Finland was also invited to attend joint Soviet-Polish-Czech as well as Yugoslavian manoeuvres in August, military exercises in Norway in September and exercises in the FRG in October.


In its reply to a query by the UN Secretary-General, the Ministry of Justice announced that the multinational corporations in Finland had not been bribing officials and civil servants.


The report of the Second Parliamentary Defence Committee was submitted. The Committee was set up to evaluate the security-political situation in Finland, to discuss the requirements placed on the armed forces and to recommend guidelines for developing them in the near future.


At the EFTA ministerial meeting in Geneva. Minister of Trade and Industry Eero Rantala said that Finland supports efforts by the ECE to adapt CSCE recommendations to its programme.


Taking the floor for Finland at the UN Habitat Conference in Canada, Minister of Housing Olavi Hänninen stated that housing questions are a challenge to both the international system and national governments. The Finnish press took notice of the fact that Finland voted for Habitat's declaration of principle in spite of its drawing a parallel between Zionism and racism. At the plenary, the Foreign Ministry explained that Finland wanted to support the main issues discussed at Habitat, but underscored that Finland's negative stand on the parallel Zionism-racism remains unchanged.


At its Party Congress, SKDL voted Kekkonen its presidential candidate.


The Finnish Academy and the Czech Academy of Sciences signed a protocol on scientific cooperation.


The Finnish-Soviet permanent intergovernmental Economic Commission met in Helsinki and discussed, inter alia, the 15-year economic cooperation programme and the Kostamus project.


In his address on the 60th anniversary of the Centre Party (formerly the Agrarian Party), President Kekkonen underscored the importance of our Foreign policy and expressed his hopes for the consistent and strong support of this policy by the Centre Party.


Kekkonen was elected Centre Party candidate.


The Swedish People's Party Congress supported Kekkonen's re-election, but left its individual electors the right to vote according to their conviction. The Party's right wing had hoped for the election of a candidate of their own.

Towards the end of the summer, discussion flared up about the method of election and practical campaign arrangements. SDP Chairman Kalevi Sorsa suggested that all parties supporting Kekkonen get together to discuss practical election arrangements. 6.8. Liberal Chairman Pekka Tarjanne prompted switching to direct national elections. Throughout the autumn, SKDL and the CPF advocated transferring Presidential elections permanently to Parliament. (All non-socialist parties have supported direct elections, while the left has supported parliamentary Presidential elections.)


The Foreign Ministry announced that Cabinet does not look favourably on the participation of a South African team in the gliding World Championships at Räyskälä, as it is in conflict with our UN policy. State financial support for the Championships caused disagreement: Minister of Education Kalevi Kivistö (SKDL) cancelled payments, but his successor Marjatta Väänänen (Centre) asked for the Chancellor of Justice's view on the matter. The Chancellor saw no legal obstacles to granting state support.


The Committee supervising the free-trade agreement between Finland and the EEC reported that there was a considerable deficit in Finnish-EEC trade, although the deficit had decreased. The EEC Commission criticized Finland for not having stuck to the original schedule for dissolving our import deposit system. In March, Cabinet had decided to prolong the deposit system to the end of the year, because of the unfavourable development of the balance of payments on current account.

Ahlström Oy and Kemi Oy bought the West-German paper factory Kämmer.


Rauma-Repola signed an agreement on the delivery of 10 river-sea boats to the Soviet Union.


The main points in Finland's reply to the UN Secretary-General's query concerning the special report on the question of nuclear-free zones were: the principle goal of establishing a nuclear-free zone is increasing security within the zone; the security- guarantees of nuclear-weapon states are of central importance, and membership in a military alliance or corresponding arrangement should not be an obstacle to membership in the zone


President Kekkonen went on an official visit to the Soviet Union. Topics discussed in Moscow included trade and the IS-year economic programme being prepared, international questions and the CSCE. On 23.6. the President left on an extensive tour of the Northern and Eastern Soviet Union. In a statement for lzvestija, Kekkonen said that the state of Finnish-Soviet relations was excellent and that there existed a mutual desire for the continued expansion of our relations. The final communiqué stated Finland's readiness to endorse the general agreement proposed by the Soviets prohibiting the use of violence in international relations.


Finland recognized the Republic of the Seychelles.


Finnish-Belgian agreement on passport freedom.


A CPF delegation travelled to Berlin for the Conference of European Communist and Workers' Parties.


Finnish-Italian agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation (came into force 26.11.).


Rauma-Repola agreed to deliver an 80 million mk oil-drilling rig to the Soviet Union.


The Bank of Finland signed a 1.2 billion mk credit reserve agreement with fourteen US and Canadian banks.


The fourth Finnish-Hungarian friendship week began.


The periodical Kauppalehti (Trade Review) criticized the Cabinet for delaying Finland's joining the Inter-American Development Bank, noting that Finland was thus bypassed as a contractor for the $ 400 million wood processing factory financed by the Bank.


Now that nearly an entire continent has decided not to participate in the Olympics, maybe we will understand that changes must be made in the organization of international athletics, observed Foreign Minister Sorsa. The International Olympics Committee bases its work on the denial of facts and can no longer carry out its function. International athletics organizations are clearly placing themselves above the UN, said Sorsa. 27.7. At the IAAF conference concerning the Montreal Olympics, the Finnish representative voted for South Africa's membership. Both Foreign Minister Sorsa and Minister of Education Kivistö considered this in conflict with Finnish foreign policy. 13.8. In connection with congratulating Finland's Olympic champions, President Kekkonen also stated his disapproval of the decision taken in Finland's name.


Two Finnish firms agreed to build a town for 6000 inhabitants, worth 150 million mk, in Nigeria.


Minister of Trade and Industry Eero Rantala drew attention to the necessity of providing legislation clarifying the position of multinational corporations in Finland.


The unofficial part of President Kekkonen's third state visit to the USA began. 3.-4.8. The actual state visit took place in connection with US bicentennial celebrations. Speaking at the National Press Club, the President dwelled on the balance existing in our foreign policy, particularly in our commercial relations, and refuted views according to which Finland is economically tied to the East. Economic questions were high on the agenda, and Foreign Ministers Kissinger and Sorsa discussed the strategic balance in Northern Europe, the reorganization of the world economy and Southern Africa. On the eve of the visit, the Washington Post published an article by Swedish Göran Albinson asserting that Finland cannot make independent decisions in important questions. The article received sharp criticism in Finland, and on 15.7. the paper published an article by Finnish Jan-Magnus Jansson explaining the foundations of Finnish foreign policy and criticizing writings on "Finlandization”.


In an interview for Soviet journalists on the anniversary of the CSCE, President Kekkonen stated that the CSCE Final Act had become a permanent element in international relations, a document referred to in the most different international contexts, and a part of school curriculums. The President agreed with the Soviet view that one way of achieving a serious discussion about disarmament would be to convene a world disarmament conference. In an interview for the Polish "Polska”, the President said he was certain the CSCE meant a final end to the Cold War and reinforced the foundations for normal cooperation in Europe. In his anniversary statement, Foreign Minister Sorsa considered advancement in detente since the CSCE satisfactory. Sorsa pointed out that changes in international relations generally take place over a longer period of time, and stressed the necessity of taking the following steps in the fields of disarmament and economic cooperation, to ensure the continual improvement of relations. 20.11. Cabinet suggested to the ECE that an environmental conference be convened in the CSCE spirit and as part of its follow-up. The initiative was based on the Final Act as well as the Soviet suggestion for miniature security conferences.


Finland and Zambia signed a long-term agreement for development cooperation, in Lusaka.


The Finnish Rural Party asked its Chairman Veikko Vennamo to run for President. Vennamo did not immediately give his reply.

The exceptional nature of the elections and possible exceptional legislations were also topics of public discussion. "Uusi Suomi” considered the elections exceptional in any event, as the results were clear from the Outset. 14.10. The Swedish Dagens Nyheter contended that the Centre Party was planning new exceptional legislation for Kekkonen's re-election. Party Chairman Johannes Virolainen refuted the charges and pointed out that in April 1975 President Kekkonen had issued a statement clearly saying that there would be no question but of a solution through normal elections.


Minister of Housing Arvo Hautala said that he would not participate in the IFHP world conference in Helsinki if South Africa took part. Consequently, South Africa was excluded from the conference.


Finland and Democratic Cambodia established diplomatic relations.


In their statement on the situation in Lebanon, the Nordic governments gave their full support to all efforts to achieve a lasting truce.


Finnish-West German agreement on mutual assistance in customs affairs came into force. Finnish-Egyptian agreement changing their agreement preventing double taxation and tax evasion came into force.


Tampella Oy received an 80 million mk order from Sweden for a soda-boiler works.


The Finnish-Soviet film Luottamus (Confidence), about relations between Finland and Russia in 1917, opened in Helsinki.


The Nordic Foreign Ministers met in Copenhagen to discuss the UN General Assembly session and the international situation. The meeting approved a joint base for the Nordic governments' positions on Southern Africa. In brief, it demanded the implementation of Security Council sanctions against Rhodesia, support for Zimbabwe liberation movements and refusal to recognize the Bantustans, and condemned the South African presence in Namibia and apartheid policy.


Rauma-Repola received a 100 million mk shipbuilding order from Saudi Arabia.


An abstract, published in Hufvudstadsbladet, of the Soviet book by Bartenjev and Komissarov marked the opening of a debate lasting several months about Finnish neutrality and the FCMA Treaty. 6.9. Foreign Minister Sorsa underlined his assurance that Finland and the Soviet Union have no differences concerning the interpretation of the Treaty. 14.9. The Soviet News Agency APN dismissed the view that the Bartenjev-Komissarov book contains new interpretations of the FCMA Treaty.


The Cuban cultural days began in Finland.


Finland and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam reinforced their diplomatic relations.


Finnish-Italian agreement on road traffic.


President Kekkonen left for Norway on an official visit. The topics discussed included developments in political and economic relations, Nordic cooperation in the North Cap area, and the strategic position of Northern Europe. Agreement was reached on Finland and Norway beginning talks on the joint exploitation of oil and gas resources. The President expressed the respect felt by Finland for the consideration typical to Norway's military base and foreign policy.


The CPF demanded breaking off diplomatic relations and commercial cooperation with South Aftica.


The Finnish Academy decided not to grant financial support for trips to scientific conferences in countries practicing racial discrimination.


Parliament approved the inclusion of Turkey and ten newly independent countries under Finland's generalized system of preferences for developing countries.


According to the periodical Talouselämä (Economic Life), there were 85 factories abroad in which Finnish companies were shareholders. Sweden had the most (17), followed by Great Britain (8), Denmark (7), Norway, the FRG and Canada (6 each), the USA (5) and South America (4).


Outokumpu Oy announced that South Korea had made a 100 million mk order for the equipment for a copper concentration plant.


Finnish-Maltese agreement preventing double taxation came into force.


Finland agreed to purchase 600 000 tons of crude oil from Iraq.


The question of granting visas to the Taiwan Opera had long been disputed, threatening to create a foreign-policy scandal. The visas were finally granted on the condition that the Opera display no emblems connected with China during their visit. The Finland-China Society demanded that the visas be repudiated, and Finland's Ambassador to Peking was called to the Chinese Foreign Ministry. The Finnish Foreign Ministry stated that our Government has consistently considered the People's Republic of China the sole representative of the whole of China.


After 292 days, the Miettunen Cabinet fell over budgetary conflicts. Throughout, there had been conflict on economic policy. In budget discussions, SKDL demanded looser monetary and financial policy, while the other ruling parties advocated restraint in economic policy.


Finnish-Hungarian agreement on youth cooperation.


Swedish foreign policy will not, as a result of the change of government, change except perhaps by shades, said Foreign Minister Sorsa commenting on the Swedish elections, in which the right ousted the Social Democrats after 44 years of power.


At the eighth conference of the IOJ, in Helsinki, Professor Kaarle Nordenstreng was elected chairman of the Organization. In his message to the Conference, President Kekkonen stressed the importance of the mass media's role bearing in mind the Final Act of the CSCE.


In its foreign-policy statement, the CPF Central Committee condemned Fascism and racial discrimination in Southern Africa, while giving its support to the Chilean people's struggle, the progressive forces in Lebanon and the PLO.


Finnish and Canadian firms were reported to be building a large joint saw-mill in Canada.


Finnish-Czech agreement preventing double taxation and tax evasion came into force. Finnish-Mexican agreement on economic, industrial and technical cooperation came into force.


Swedish Centre Party leader Torbjörn Fälldin reportedly nominated President Kekkonen for the Nobel Peace Prize, for the second time.


Foreign Minister Sorsa's speech at the UNGA gave precedence to questions related to Southern Africa. Sorsa demanded South Africa's withdrawal from Namibia and increasing the efficiency of UN sanctions. He also touched on the financing of the Finnish contingent on Cyprus, the implementation of the CSCE Final Act, and disarmament.


Finland and Poland signed an agreement on the reciprocal removal of obstacles to trade. Previously, Finland had signed similar KEVSOS agreements with Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the GDR.


Prime Minister Miettunen's new centre-based minority Cabinet was appointed and the 5-party Cabinet was granted its resignation. The places in the new Cabinet were distributed as follows: the Centre Party (9), the Swedish People's Party (3), the Liberal People's Party (3), and one professional minister. Professor Keijo Korhonen was appointed Foreign Minister. Commentaries generally saw the Cabinet as a temporary solution and drew attention to the President's role in the choice of ministers.


Finland joined the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with a share of 12 million mk.


Norwegian-Swedish-Finnish- Danish agreement on environmental conservation, and a related protocol came into force.


In greeting Miettunen's minority Cabinet, President Kekkonen noted that since Finland's independence, 20 of our 59 Cabinets have been based on minority support. This causes some wonder abroad and is not always understood at home either. He saw it as due to our having too many small parties. This lent momentum to a discussion on the position of small parties and the justification of their existence — a discussion in which the big parties expressed their positive attitude towards a vote threshold in parliamentary elections.


In an interview, the new Foreign Minister Keijo Korhonen stated that there is general agreement about the main line of our foreign policy. He considered our foreign policy a success, but emphasized that it is not static. According to Korhonen, differences in shade with the line advocated by the Social Democrats are evident in questions of not vital importance to us.


The SDP Party Council demanded that Cabinet freeze relations with South Africa and recommend that Finnish firms discontinue trade and economic cooperation with South Africa, and suggested that aid to SWAPO be increased.


Speaking at a CMEA seminar, Foreign Minister Korhonen said that Finland's position as a market-economy forerunner in economic and commercial relations with the Soviet Union entails certain risks. Finland is faced with the challenge of competing on the Soviet market with more competitive countries. Korhonen underscored the importance of self-confidence in a foreign policy whose premises "certainly stand up to examination”.


Finnish-Soviet fishing agreement.


Finland and the Soviet Union initialled a tax agreement.


Finland and Thailand initialled an air-traffic agreement.


In Cabinet's budget proposal, 395 million mk were put aside for the Foreign Ministry and 1,622 million mk for the Ministry of Defence. In 1977, the armed forces would be buying new jet training-fighters.


East German Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer arrived on an official visit to discuss European security and sign a cooperation agreement.


Finnish-East German agreement on cooperation in the fields of health care, social security and medicine (came into force 23.12.).


Parliament stressed that Cabinet hastily examine the possibilities for tightening sanctions against Rhodesia and countries practicing racial discrimination in Southern Africa.


In the communal elections, the Coalition Party became the second- largest party, increasing its support by 2,5%. The Centre Party also did well.

The votes were distributed as follows:
SDP (25%), the Coalition Party (20.9%), the Centre Party (18.6%), SKDL (18.5%), the Swedish Party (4.7%), the Liberals (4.8%), the Christian League (3.2%) and others (4.3%). SDP and the small parties were the main losers. The Coalition Party's victory brought to the fore the question of the Party's participation in Cabinet and of its reliability in foreign policy.


Cabinet declared four North Korean diplomats persona non grata in Finland. The diplomats were found to have been smuggling narcotics, alcohol and cigarettes, in conflict with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. North Korea denied the charges and blamed the Finnish Government for any deterioration in relations.


Taking the floor for Finland at the UNGA debate on apartheid, Foreign Minister Korhonen suggested starting an extensive aid programme for Namibia in the UNO. Korhonen also touched on ending South Africa's apartheid policy and achieving majority rule in Rhodesia. The GA approved Finland's resolution on a national programme for Namibia by consensus.


At the fourth meeting of the Finnish CMEA Cooperation Commission, in Helsinki, the parties agreed to further cooperation in the fields of foreign trade, machine- building, chemical industry, transport and scientific and technical cooperation.


At the UNESCO Assembly, the Finnish delegation expressed its hope that the Assembly discuss the follow-up of the CSCE Final Act in fields coming under UNESCO's competence. Speaking for Finland, Minister of Education Marjatta Väänänen recommended that the Assembly take politically and ideologically delicate decisions by consensus. A particular cause of disagreement was the proposed declaration on the principles governing mass media, which contained certain clauses, e.g. on state responsibility for mass media, that the West found unacceptable. Foreign Minister Korhonen had previously noted that the draft declaration was not in agreement with neither our social system, nor our way of life, nor the role of our media.


The Cabinet decided to open negotiations on the purchase of about 50 British Hawker-Siddeley Hawk training-fighters. The deal would be worth over 1 billion mk, and the question had long been under consideration. The competitors included the Swedish Saab 105-5, the Czech Aero L-39, the French Fouga Magister 90 and Alpha Jet, and the Italian Aeronautic Macci MB 339. According to Cabinet, the decision was to be based on the plane's technical qualifications, and would require adequate industrial compensation. On 17.11. SKDL's parliamentary group demanded that the purchase be dropped and the money used to boost employment. Buying the planes from a NATO country was seen as ill-considered. In Sweden, giving the deal to a NATO country and not our neutral neighbour also caused consternation.


The Cabinet decided to open negotiations on the purchase of about 50 British Hawker-Siddeley Hawk training-fighters. The deal would be worth over 1 billion mk, and the question had long been under consideration. The competitors included the Swedish Saab 105-5, the Czech Aero L-39, the French Fouga Magister 90 and Alpha Jet, and the Italian Aeronautic Macci MB 339. According to Cabinet, the decision was to be based on the plane's technical qualifications, and would require adequate industrial compensation. On 17.11. SKDL's parliamentary group demanded that the purchase be dropped and the money used to boost employment. Buying the planes from a NATO country was seen as ill-considered. In Sweden, giving the deal to a NATO country and not our neutral neighbour also caused consternation.


The Ministry of Defence authorized the General Staff to begin talks with the Soviet Union on the acquisition of antiaircraft missiles.


In Finland's general speech on disarmament in the UNGA, Ambassador Ilkka Pastinen observed that a total test-ban is now more urgently needed than ever, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons. 10.12. By a vote of 132:0:0, the UNGA passed a resolution sponsored by Finland concerning the comprehensive study on nuclear-free zones. (The decision to carry out the study was made in 1974.) The resolution reiterated the conviction that nuclear- free zones can contribute to zone- members' security, and suggested that the study be conveyed not only to the governments concerned but also to interested international organizations.


Finland abstained in the UNGA vote to condemn military and nuclear cooperation with South Africa, but supported, inter alia, resolutions recommending that the Security Council declare an arms embargo on South Africa and granting approval to armed struggle as a legitimate measure for the oppressed people of South Africa.


Speaking on the occasion of the 59th anniversary of the October Revolution, Soviet Minister NY. Talyzin observed that also in a Europe of relaxing tensions the FCMA Treaty is in its entirety a reliable foundation for Soviet-Finnish relations.


In its annual report, the OECD Development Aid Committee (DAC) noted that Finland's aid was one of the lowest among DAC members, and much less than the UN target (0,7% of the GNP) approved by Finland. DAC found it particularly worrying that the precentual share of aid in the budget had decreased, and recommended drawing up a medium-term plan for budgetary appropriation to development cooperation. Finland was given credit for increasing gift-aid, for the advantageous conditions of aid, and for directing aid to the least developed countries (46 %).


Finland and Cuba signed a 10 million mk development credit agreement. On 8.2 three Coalition Party MPs had made a question in Parliament concerning the credit, asking whether Cabinet considered granting economic aid to a party to the war in Angola in conformity with Finland's policy of neutrality. In his reply Foreign Minister Sorsa contested that the credit was in conflict with Finnish foreign policy. He noted that aid should not constitute an attempt to influence the beneficiary's foreign policy, and that it is long-term work which cannot suddenly be changed.


The basic programme for development aid approved by Cabinet planned allocating about 100 million mk yearly to bilateral aid.


Swedish Foreign Minister Karin Söder's statements to Dagens Nyheter on Nordic cooperation were well accepted by the Finnish press. According to Söder, "international” and "Nordic” goals are not in conflict with each other, and the closer the contact between the Nordic countries, the better their chances for influence will be in the UN and other international instances.


In an interview, Foreign Minister Korhonen considered Finland's comprehensive commercial policy solution from 3 years back a good example of the correct compromise. "These solutions were not dictated from outside and there was no ready model to use. It was an arrangement in Finland's interests”.


Minister of Foreign Trade C.G. Aminoff participated in the EFTA ministerial meeting in Lisbon.


The press reported that the USA will not be ordering tugboats from Wärtsilä. This was the conclusion to a much publicized chain of events which started when previous US Ambassador Mark Austad appealed to Congress to purchase Finnish icebreakers for the Great Lakes. The plan gained momentum during President Kekkonen's visit to the US, and had resulted in an offer from the US to buy Finnish tugboats.


The Postal and Telegraph Establishment signed an agreement with L.M. Ericsson for the Finnish part of a Nordic communications network. The network will cost about 200 million mk and will be completed by 1980.


Wärtsilä Oy concluded an agreement with the Soviet Union on cooperation in shipbuilding.


President Kekkonen visited Hungary. Talks centered around the follow-up of the CSCE and the general situation in Europe. Finnish- Hungarian relations were seen as entailing no political problems, and the promotion of trade was considered important.


Commenting on the criticism, Foreign Minister Korhonen pointed out that Finland's aid policy had developed rapidly considering it had only been in existence for 15 years.


Cabinet decided to buy 30 Finnish Leko-70 training planes for the air force. On 4.12 the Parliament approved the purchase. The planes will cost about 43 million mk.


Finland and the Soviet Union signed their trade agreement for 1977, covering over 10 billion mk. The emphasis of Finnish imports from the Soviet Union was still on raw materials and energy sources, while Finnish exports were headed by metal industry products, consumer goods and foodstuffs. Soviet Minister of Foreign Trade N.S. Patolitshev drew attention to the small share of Finnish imports of machines and equipment from the Soviet Union.


The CPF published an extensive document "The Democratic way out of the crisis”, presenting the Party's views on economic policy and suggesting that the presidential elections be transferred to Parliament.


At the UNGA, Finland announced that Namibia was being included as one of our main recipients and that our aid to the UN Namibia Institute was being increased.


At their meeting in Stockholm, Nordic Ministers of Industry agreed that the Nordic countries should cooperate in questions of nuclear- energy security.


Finland cancelled visa agreements with Pakistan and Bangladesh.


Finnish-Polish agreements on health and social-policy cooperation.


Turkey ordered a 500 million mk electric power plant to be built jointly by Finland and Czechoslovakia.


Finnish-Norwegian fishing agreement allowing Finland to fish in the Norwegian economic zone.


Finn-Stroi Oy submitted its final offer for the Kostamus project to Moscow. The project includes the building of a town for 9000 inhabitants and a 3 million m3 industrial complex as well as territorial work, and would employ 5000 Finns for 4-5 years. Finland had negotiated about the building of the mining complex for over two years, and made five offers which were all too high for the Soviet Union.


Finland sold a bonded loan worth about 192 million mk on the US capital market.


The Nordic Prime Ministers' and Cooperation Ministers' meeting in Helsinki discussed Nordic energy cooperation and the working of the Investment Bank.


In a speech, Soviet Ambassador V.S. Stepanov saw the coming year as offering Finland and the Soviet Union an opportunity to jointly celebrate the anniversaries of Finland's independence (6.12.) and the October Revolution (7.11.). The right wing of the Coalition Party considered the speech an infringement on the celebration of Finland's independence and made a question about the matter in Parliament. In his reply, Foreign Minister Korhonen said that since 1950 the month between these two days had been observed as a month of friendship, and that Cabinet saw fit to continue this well-found practice.


Speeches given on Finland's 59th Independence Day discussed mainly economic policy and domestic conflicts caused by the recession. Speaking in Moscow, Minister of the Interior Eino Uusitalo dwelled on Finland's efforts on behalf of disarmament.


Cabinet set up a committee to examine the implications of our aid policy for foreign, commercial and economic policy.


At the UNGA, Finland voted for a resolution on the revision of the international development strategy of the Second Development Decade, but explained that while Finland accepts the UN target for official development assistance, she is not able to accept a fixed date for the achievement of the target.


The UNGA approved a resolution (106:2:22), sponsored by Finland, recommending that the IAEA Continue measures to prevent nuclear proliferation and examine proposals for the strengthening of the N on-Proliferation Treaty safeguards. The resolution takes note of Finland's memorandum concerning the strengthening of the IAEA safeguards.


The British Cabinet raised Finland's duty-free quota for paper and pasteboard by 1.75 %. Finland accounts for about a third of British paper imports.


Salora Oy concluded a 120 million mk agreement on the export of TVs to Italy.


Finnlux signed a 70 million mk colour TV agreement with a West- German department Store.


President Kekkonen travelled to the Soviet Union to congratulate Party Secretary Brezhnev on his 70th birthday. Brezhnev was awarded Finland's highest decoration, the Grand Cross with collar of the White Rose of Finland. The Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter published an open letter by a Soviet exile claiming that Finland returned Soviet Refugees who had crossed the border, in conflict with the UN Convention on Refugees. 23.12. The Foreign Ministry sent the paper a reply explaining Finland's position. Finland is a party to the convention on Refugees, and officials abide by our Statute on Foreigners according to which the Ministry of the Interior can grant political asylum. Finland and the Soviet Union also have an agreement on border peace, with stipulations against the unauthorized crossing of the border. Press commentaries noted that the agreements may come in conflict with one another.


The Finnish People's Unity Party (SKYP) elected Party Chairman Eino Haikala its presidential candidate. The Party had previously demanded that small parties back up their candidates as a common option in the presidential elections.


Finland and the People's Republic of China signed a 220 million mk trade agreement, in Helsinki.


The Communist paper Tiedonantaja asked Foreign Minister Korhonen to explain what advantages Finland had from the membership of Nordic countries in NATO. Korhonen had earlier said that experience had shown the Nordic countries that the present security-political setting in Northern Europe was in all of their interest.


The UNGA appointed Finnish Ambassador to Tanzania Martti Ahtisaari UN Commissioner for Namibia, for the year 1977.


Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee approved Finland joining the Latin American Development Bank. The Committee stressed that joining, which both the Communists and the Social Democrats had opposed, was for the promotion of Finnish exports and was not a development-political move.


In a New Years greeting to the Moscow News, President Kekkonen dwelled on the close historical link between the Finnish and Soviet independence days, and hoped for progress in disarmament during the coming year.