Yle has reported on the visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini to Washington. He discussed current global political issues with the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo. Many of the issues discussed were related to Russia.
Due to the crisis in Ukraine, sanctions have been imposed on Russia for almost five years behind, but they are still no changes in sight by the EU or the United States. Mr Soini noted that the fact that the Minsk agreement has not been implemented means that sanctions still remain in place.
The article noted that the United States and Russia had failed to reach an agreement on the extension of the INF treaty. President Donald Trump has said he wants to dismantle it because Russia has not followed it. Mr Soini told Pompeo that the treaty is important to Europe.
Mr Pompeo is expected to attend the ministerial meeting in Finland at the beginning of May. Finland will then hand over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Iceland. The formulation of a joint statement can be challenging because the climate policy of President Donald Trump’s administration has been almost the exact opposite to the European countries around the Arctic Ocean.
Mr Soini said he was an optimist. Climate issues, the use of black coal and heavy fuel oil in the Arctic are difficult questions. But the action in this case must be goal-and result-oriented, he said.
Minister Soini also visited the Congress, where he had several bilateral discussions with politicians. Democrats’ last week’s election victory will reflect on the United States. Mr Soini expects that « the dynamics will change », and that there could be a change in the US foreign policy too. He noted that compromises had to be made at this point.
Media: YLE Uutiset
Journalist: Mika Hentunen