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Russia - Sanctions and Dialogue Conference

High-level politicians and ambassadors discussed Europe's relationship with Russia at ACRE's Sanctions and Dialogue Conference in Helsinki.

At ACRE’s Sanctions and Dialogue Conference earlier this week, international politicians and ambassadors discussed Europe's relationship with Russia in the Parliament of Finland, Helsinki.

Analysing the security development in and around the Baltic Sea, the Finnish Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö (Finns Party) concluded:

Power politics has indeed re-entered the European security policy agenda. [...] In a situation like this it is important not to react when provoked and to maintain a dialogue with other countries so that we can together address common security issues. It is highly important to be able to read other parties’ body language – what Russia really thinks is not always what comes to mind first.

Hanna Smith from the Aleksanteri Institute at the University of Helsinki emphasized the need for democracy in Russia. She said:

Russia does not like democracy, but needs it to legitimize its power.

Speakers also included the former Prime Minister of Finland and current Chair of the Finnish Foreign Affairs Committee Matti Vanhanen, MP EYC Vice-Chairman Simon Elo, Keith Boyfield from the Centre for Policy Studies, Professor Emeritus Matti Klinge, Arto Luukkanen from the University of Helsinki, and Kristi Raik from the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. Furthermore, numerous ambassadors, high-level diplomats and international journalists attended the conference as guests.

ACRE organized this event in cooperation with its member party, the Finns Party, which is in charge of Foreign Affairs in the present Finnish government.

You will find the live stream recording of Jussi Niinistö’s speech below.