Today, on January 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone conversation with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto. The leaders exchanged congratulations on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Foundations of Relations, which marked the beginning of a new stage of Russian-Finnish cooperation.
The Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland on the Foundations of Relations is the main interstate agreement between Russia and Finland, in force from 1992 to the present. The Treaty concerns territorial integrity and state cooperation and was concluded in order to “develop and strengthen good-neighbourly relations and comprehensive cooperation between both countries and peoples.”
The Treaty was signed in the Finnish capital Helsinki on January 20, 1992, by Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho and First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Gennady Burbulis. The document emphasizes the commitment of Russia and Finland to the UN Charter and the Final Act of the CSCE, as well as the building of relations between the two countries on such principles of international law as sovereign equality, non-use of force or threat of force, inviolability of borders, territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
According to the Treaty, Russia and Finland have pledged to respect the inviolability of each other’s borders and territorial integrity, to refrain from using force against each other and not to allow their territory to be used for armed aggression against another country.
A separate article of the Treaty emphasizes that both countries will support the preservation of the identity of Finns and peoples and nationalities related to Finns in Russia, as well as immigrants from Russia in Finland, protecting each other’s languages, culture and historical monuments.
In addition, the leaders of the two countries exchanged views on the topic of European security in the context of the recent Russian-American talks in Geneva, as well as meetings as part of the Russia-NATO Council and the OSCE Permanent Council.
“Putin informed in detail about the fundamental Russian approaches, stressing that Moscow expects the written, concrete and detailed reaction promised by the negotiating partners to the draft documents on the provision of legal guarantees for the security of the Russian Federation,” the Kremlin‘s press service noted.
In turn, the Finnish President pointed out that Finland exercises full sovereignty over its security policy.
When discussing the prospects for resolving the internal Ukrainian crisis, both sides confirmed the importance of consistent and full implementation of the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures as a non-alternative basis for settlement.
“The Russian President noted that Kiev is still stubbornly avoiding fulfilling its obligations under the Minsk agreements, which provide, in particular, for establishing a direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk and the constitutional registration of the special status of Donbass,” the Kremlin states.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by the office of the Finnish President, it is said that Niinisto expressed “serious concern about the situation” in the region of Ukraine and stressed “the need to find solutions through ongoing dialogue.”