Finland, Russia working together to restore trade turnover amid sanctions

Jun 06, 2016 12:00 AM

Russia and Finland are working hard to restore the trade turnover which experienced significant decline, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said Monday.

He also noted that Russian tourists made an important part of Finnish tourism industry.

"Russia is an important trade partner, and despite the fall in the trade turnover, we are taking the measures to restore it," Soini said after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov told reporters after the meeting with his Finnish counterpart that Moscow hopes that the decisions aimed at addressing the disturbing downward trend in the Russia-Finland trade turnover would be made during the intergovernmental meeting this fall.

"We are expecting that the trend toward reduction will be stopped. The co-chairmen of the [Finnish–Russian] Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation were discussing this when they met in March. I hope that a full-scale meeting of the intergovernmental commission, planned for this fall, will adopt specific measures to help us deal with the situation."

Relations between Russia and the European Union member states deteriorated in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in blaming Moscow for fueling the Ukrainian crisis, and imposed several rounds of sanctions on it as a punitive measure. The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive.

In August 2014, in response to the Western restrictive measures, Moscow announced a one-year food embargo on products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been prolonged.

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