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Finland supports positive trends in Belarus-EU relations

Politics 18.04.2019 | 13:00
Markku Keinanen
Markku Keinanen

MINSK, 18 April (BelTA) – Finland supports positive trends in the advancement of Belarus' relations with the European Union. The statement was made by Under Secretary of State for External Economic Relations at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Markku Keinanen during the ceremony held on 18 April to open a new office of the Finnish embassy in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Markku Keinanen said: “Finland will preside over the Council of the European Union as from 1 July. We will support positive trends in the advancement of Belarus' relations with the European Union.”

Speaking about the possibility of opening a full-value embassy of Finland in Minsk [Finland's interests in Belarus are now represented by the Finnish embassy in Lithuania], the diplomat noted there are no plans to do that for now. “We may take such a step later on. For now we will continue working via the liaison office of Finland in Minsk just like we did before but in separate premises,” he explained. “With an office of our own we will be able to increase the scope of our work, arrange business meetings and other events in our own premises.”

There are no plans to hire more liaison office staff, but intensive work to establish and advance political and economic relations between the countries will continue. “If we have to increase the staff, it will be our next step,” the diplomat added.

Markku Keinanen pointed out that the distance between Belarus and Finland is not that large. The fact should be exploited for stepping up cooperation, including in tourism.

“It is my first time in Belarus and Minsk. I am stunned by how beautiful and remarkable Minsk is,” Markku Keinanen said. “The distance between our countries is not that large, this is why there is an opportunity for travel.”

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