According to an editorial in Ilkka, the details of the case of GPS jamming during NATO exercise in Finland have not been opened, but the Ministry for Foreign Afffairs said that Russia was involved. The latter denied involvement and demanded concrete proofs, which is unlikely to come, as both Norway and Finland would reveal to Russia the accuracy of their own technology.
According to the editorial, the matter has shifted to the diplomatic level, but details of the debate between the State Secretary and the Ambassador of Russia are not reaching the public. However, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has informed that air safety is of interest to both parties. The Ministry demands more information and responsible action from Russia, but it is unknown what has been Russia’s response to Finland’s request.
Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met in Helsinki last week, reported Verkkouutiset. The two held a broad debate on the development of the European Union and its future challenges.
The leaders also discussed Finland’s priorities for the Commission’s forthcoming five-year program and Finland’s forthcoming EU Presidency. The issues of the EU’s response to migration and international trade and the development of the EU’s internal market were raised too.
Ilta-Sanomat has reported that Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö had spoken in favour of shared European defence for years, and now he has received support from both France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel.
German Chancellor Merkel spoke at the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday and she said the European Union should establish a joint army. French President Macron and European Commission President Juncker have also spoken on behalf of a European army.
An editorial in Ilta-Sanomat has stated that Finnish top politicians have reacted strongly to the allegations that Russia had been jamming the GPS signal in his Finland’s northern airspace during the recent Nato military exercise Trident Juncture 2018.
President Sauli Niinistö, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä, Foreign Minister Timo Soini, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Matti Vanhanen, and Chairman of the Defence Committee Ilkka Kanerva condemned the incident. Mr Soini also promised to issue a statement to the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Kremlin has disputed the allegations. The editorial states that even if no « smoking gun » could be found, Finland should object to Russia’s violation of its airspace.
Verkkouutiset reports that according to a European Policy Centre (EPC) study: « Finland in the European Union: Frontrunner or follower », Finland is only average in European affairs. Finland makes positive statements about, for example, the internal market but then holds on to many blocks to the free mobility of goods, services, capital, and labour, says senior policy analyst Annika Hedberg.
Finland ranks well in terms of the digital internal market, digital skills, public services, and mobile networks. EPC researcher Paul Ivan said that Finland should intensify its defence and security co-operation with Europe. However, the problem is that, according to Ivan, Finland is not of interest to other EU countries. Finland follows Germany’s defense policy, but Germany does not see Finland as a strategic partner.
Iltalehti has reported that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini will meet the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on 15 November. They will discuss i.a. the transatlantic cooperation, European security, response to hybrid threats and other topical issues.
Mr Soini will also meet members of the Congress and discuss with representatives of think tanks. According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, the discussions highlight the impact of the interim on US policy, relations between the European Union and the United States, and the future of the statutory system.
Journalist: Antti Pajamo
Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö commented on the recent climate report by IPCC in a climate conference in Rovaniemi. The President pointed out that everyone in the world is in the same boat. If the temperature rises more than 1.5 celcius degrees, it will make life difficult.
He pointed out that the arctic region is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world, and if we lose it, we will lose the world.
The President said that he has noticed that there is increasing will among countries to start working against climate change. For example, few countries ignored the topic at the UN summit in New York and particularly the French President Emmanuel Macron actively brought up the topic in discussions.
Finland is to invest EUR 1.54 million in climate projects in Africa. The funding is used to support the development of climate projects particularly in the poorest countries. The money can be used, for example, for the research on wave power utilisation or storing electricity, or to develop completely new earning models.
The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Anne-Mari Virolainen says in a press release that more than a billion people do not have electricity. Whether they get their electricity from fossil fuels or renewable sources makes a difference.