Finland should be concerned about Russia’s economic development, says Finland’s Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade.
A weakened Russian economy in the wake of its conflict with Ukraine will be felt in Finland. But he advocates that the EU and Russia work together.”If Russia’s economy drops by 3 percent, the Finnish economy will drop by half a percent. That’s a source of concern,” says Alexander Stubb, Finland’s Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade.
“We have been experiencing a financial crisis for many years now and there will continue to be challenges with regards to economic growth. Now there’s the Ukraine crisis on top of all this. This is the very reason why European integration was undertaken: with it we aim to avoid conflicts. Even though conflicts arise, they are not borne within the EU,” says Stubb, who is known for his pro-EU stance.
Stubb stresses that it’s important to remember that the roots of the EU lie in a project started in the 1950s, when Germany and France needed to be brought closer together during the post-war years.
“The EU has brought peace, stability and prosperity,” says Stubb. “Granted, there have been conflicts on the borders of Europe such as in the former Yugoslavia and now between Russian and Ukraine.”
“As I have said before, money is the best peace mediator. When economies are tightly interwoven and dependent on one another, the threshold for conflict is considerably higher. That’s why all the walls that are between the EU and Russia need to be taken down so that we are dependent on one another and these types of conflicts are avoided.”
Canada: Feature Interview: Will Russia’s actions in Ukraine affect relations in the Arctic Council?, Eye on the Arctic
Finland: Finland’s NATO membership no substitute for strong nation defence, Yle News
Norway: Nordics rethink security after Ukraine crisis, Yle News
Russia: Russia puts countries on edge in the Arctic, Cryopolitics
Sweden: Sweden providing jets to NATO, Radio Sweden
United States: U.S. official criticises Russia for meddling in Finland’s NATO, Yle News