In Finland, the focus shifts to Ukraine

India feels that a “constructive dialogue” is the best way out of the difficult situation in the Ukraine and wants all sides to abjure violence and work towards a peaceful, negotiated solution to bring peace and stability to the area.

This was conveyed by President Pranab Mukherjee to his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto during their official talks even as the two countries signed 19 agreements that ranged from a “bio-refinery” in Numaligarh, Assam, to cooperation in the field of biotechnology, education and nuclear safety.

India and Finland also want to double their trade of $1.5 billion in the next three years even as they focus on knowledge-based education and research cooperation.

In this part of the world, concerns over Ukraine are running high and the Finnish President conveyed his concerns to the President during their discussions.

Top External Affairs Ministry official Navtej Sarna said that the issues of terrorism, including the threat from the Islamic State (IS), Syria and Afghanistan also figured in the dialogue between the two leaders.

Finland also felt that India was a “natural claimant” to a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, with Mr. Niinisto telling Mr. Mukherjee that Delhi must “play a central role in global affairs”.

However, the Finnish leader clarified to the press that his country did not want any extension of the veto right to new members of the UN Security Council.

The Finnish President said that the situation in the Ukraine was a “wake-up call” for Europe. “Peace is not something forever,” was the message coming from the crisis in the Ukraine, he added.

According to Mr. Sarna, Mr. Mukherjee conveyed that the world must be careful in using the resources of the Arctic and not repeat the mistakes of the Industrial Revolution as far as the exploitation of resources was concerned.

In an address at the Helsinki city hall, Mr. Mukherjee welcomed entrepreneurs from Finland. “We welcome their contribution in developing environment-friendly technologies.”

“There is a lot that we can learn from the experiences, best practices and successful innovations of Finland; our scientists and professionals, too, have much to bring to the table,” he said.

The President also had a meeting with Finland’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 11:12:34 PM |

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