Medvedev in St. Petersburg will meet with the Prime Ministers of Finland and Belarus

Medvedev in St. Petersburg will meet with the Prime Ministers of Finland and Belarus

The Russian Prime Minister will discuss with colleagues Juha Sipilã and Andrei Kobyakov issues of international cooperation in the economic, political and humanitarian fields.

St. PETERSBURG, 29 Dec. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday in St. Petersburg will hold talks with the heads of the governments of Finland and Belarus.

According to the Russian Cabinet, Medvedev and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilã will discuss topical issues of Russian-Finnish cooperation in trade-economic, investment, energy, scientific-technical, humanitarian fields, and will also consider the status of interregional and cross-border ties. Sipilã first visit to Russia on a visit as head of government.

And during the conversation Medvedev with Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov will be touched upon topical issues of Russian-Belarusian trade and economic cooperation, collaboration in the framework of the Union state of Russia and Belarus, as well as interaction in the Eurasian economic Union, the press service of the government of the Russian Federation.

On the eve of the presidents of Belarus and Russia Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin during a telephone conversation discussed the actions of Minsk and Moscow in connection with the agreement of Ukraine with the EU about free trade zone and agreed to meet in the near future.

“The leaders drew attention to the fact the start of the agreement between Ukraine and EU on creation of free trade zones and in this regard discussed the actions of the countries for the near future in these conditions”, — said the press service.

According to her, the presidents touched upon some issues of the Eurasian economic Union.

“Lukashenko and Putin agreed to meet in the near future and in a closed and more substantive conversation to discuss the issues of bilateral relations”, — reported in a press-service of Lukashenka.

The stream of refugees across Russia

This week was a meeting of heads the Ministry of internal Affairs of Russia and Finland in Helsinki, where were discussed the issues of cooperation between law enforcement agencies of the two countries, as well as the increasing flow of refugees from the Middle East to Europe. Following the meeting, the Minister of internal Affairs of Finland petteri DEWA said that Russia and Finland should work together in trying to solve the problem with the flow of migrants to Finland via Russia. Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev stressed the readiness for constructive cooperation with our Finnish colleagues in all areas of law enforcement activity both in multilateral and bilateral formats.

The flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa grows in the South of the Murmansk region on the border with Finland. Refugees were forbidden to cross the border on bikes, as it was permitted previously. This method was already used by thousands of refugees on their way to Norway from Murmansk region. According to some, the refugees pooled their savings to buy old cars and in their waiting for their turn at the checkpoint. According the Murmansk authorities, the Finnish border in search of refuge every day cross up to 20 people.

The Minister for foreign Affairs of Finland Timo Soini said earlier about the need to take urgent action to protect the borders of Finland from the stream of refugees from the Russian side. At the same time, he noted that the issue of closing his country’s border with Russia is not on the agenda.

Direct railway communication

The government of the Russian Federation on 23 January submitted to the state Duma a bill on ratification of the agreement between Russia and Finland on direct international rail transport.

Now between Russia and Finland applies bilateral intergovernmental agreement on Russian-Finnish direct international rail transport, concluded in Helsinki on 16 April 1996.

The need for a new document due to regulatory changes in the field of railway transport in Russia in recent years.

The new agreement regulates a direct international railway communication between Russia and Finland, defines a unified legal norms to the contract of carriage, the liability of the carriers, the order of consideration of claims and other issues.

Cooperation in the energy sector

Russia participates in construction in Finland NPP “Hanhikivi-1”. Work on the construction of the pit were started on January 19.

International division of “Rosatom” company “RusAtom overseas” and the customer of the project company Fennovoima in 2013 signed a contract for construction in Finland NPP “Hanhikivi-1”. The Russian side in 2014, has gained 34 percent in Fennovoima. The station will be built with Russian VVER-1200 project NPP-2006 at the Hanhikivi headland in Pyhäjoki area and is scheduled to begin electricity production in 2024.

In October 2014, “Atomproekt” signed a contract for the development of a full package of design documentation for NPP “Hanhikivi-1” in the capacity of General designer. The station meets the standards of the IAEA and EUR and will be adapted to the Finnish national safety requirements, which, according to experts, are the most stringent in the world.

The Parliament of Finland in December 2014 by a majority vote approved the project. Fennovoima in June this year applied for a license for the station.

The trade turnover with Finland

Russia, with 2008 retained the first position among the trade partners of Finland, in 2015, fell to third place (according to the customs statistics of Finland), Germany’s share is 14.8%, Sweden — 10,7%, Russian — 8,7%. The trade turnover between Russia and Finland in January-November of last year has decreased in comparison with the similar period of the year 2015 by 39% and amounted to 8.9 billion dollars, the Russian export — $ 6.6 billion (minus 37%), imports — $ 2.4 billion (minus 45%).

As stated in the information materials to the meeting of the Prime Ministers, Finland takes the 15th place (2%) among foreign trade partners of Russia, including the seventh place among the countries-members of EU. The bulk of Russian exports are oil, petroleum products, natural gas and coal (73,1%), chemical products (15.7 per cent). The weight of timber and pulp and paper products in Russian exports to Finland was 5.9%, metals and products from them — by 2.4%, the share of machinery, equipment, vehicles — 1,6%.

There are marked discrepancies in the Russian and Finnish foreign trade statistics, particularly for imports of Russia from Finland, it is noted in the information materials. They emphasize that the significant distinction between imports due to the fact that the goods going to Russia through Finland, go through customs clearance upon arrival in Finland or Finnish companies are acquired for re-export purposes and subsequent export to Russia to be declared as Finnish. The Russian customs takes into account their country of origin.

Import to Russia from Finland, the biggest difference is observed in machine-building and chemical products, export from Russia to Finland — on fuel and energy products.

According to the Bank of Russia, total amount of direct Finnish investment in the Russian economy, according to the results 2014 amounted to $ 3.2 billion, the volume of accumulated direct investment from Russia to Finland amounted to $ 1.3 billion. On 1 January 2015 Finland was in 16th place in terms of accumulated foreign investments in the Russian economy (10-th place among EU countries). Russia is in sixth place in the list of countries in terms of Finnish direct investments (with a share of 7.2%) and in eighth place in terms of accumulated direct investments in the Finnish economy (1.4 per cent).

In the Finnish market there are about 3 thousand companies with Russian participation, most of them have the minimum allowed share capital (8 thousand euros) and are concentrated in the areas of commercial mediation and consulting services, tourism, transport and logistics.

Relations between Russia and Belarus

Russian-Belarusian relations of allied cooperation. Negotiations of heads of governments of Russia and Belarus are held regularly. Maintained active contacts between the foreign ministries, a constant dialogue is conducted on the lines of first Deputy heads of governments of the two countries, Igor Shuvalov and Basil Matusovskogo, as well as relevant ministries and agencies.

Russia and Belarus hold common or similar positions on major international issues, closely cooperate in the UNO, other universal and regional organizations.

Develop trade and economic relations. For January-September 2015 the foreign trade turnover of Russia and Belarus amounted to 17962,5 million dollars, including Russian export – 11456,2 million dollars and imports – 6506,2 million dollars.

In the Russian export to Belarus is dominated by energy and commodity groups, imports from Belarus – engineering products, equipment and food. A significant factor is the preferential terms of Russian energy supplies to Belarus taking into account existing arrangements in the framework of the Union state and common economic space.

Created by joint production in the Russian Federation – about 1.5 thousand; 2.7 thousand enterprises with Russian participation work in Belarus.

One of the important directions of integration cooperation is the implementation of the interstate economic, defense, social programs and projects. Their financing is carried out partially from the budget of the Union state, the amount of which in 2015 is 4,872 billion Russian rubles (the Russian Federation 65%, Belarus – 35%).

It remains unknown the fate of a Russian aviation base in Belarus, which last time state leaders often say. The Ministry of defence of the Republic said earlier that this question was not discussed and, probably, will not rise in the future.

In mid-September, President Vladimir Putin instructed the Russian defense Ministry and foreign Ministry to hold talks with Minsk and up to sign the agreement on creation in Belarus of a Russian aviation base. Putin after talks with Lukashenko in Moscow on 15 December stated that Russia and Belarus are actively developing military and military-technical cooperation.