Press release 72/2013
27 March 2013
On 27 March, Finland and Russia made a decision on closer border cooperation in the 13th joint meeting of the Finnish-Russian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation.
The parties decided to establish a cross-administrative border traffic working group, with an aim to enhance functionality of border traffic, the border crossing stations and the relevant traffic routes. In addition, the Finnish Customs and Border Guard signed an agreement about enhanced cooperation with Rosgranitsa, the Federal Agency for the Development of the State Border Facilities of the Russian Federation.
“Russian tourism is extremely important for Finland, and last year the border between our countries was crossed 12 million times, which is a new record. With the help of the working group, we want to expedite development of border infrastructure and eliminate bottlenecks,” says Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb, who co-chaired the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitri Kozak.
In the meeting, the countries signed an action plan exploring the opportunities of modernisation partnership between Finland and Russia, including ongoing cooperation projects within the fields of, for example, pharmaceutical technology, biotechnology, telecommunications, cleantech, construction, and development of vocational education.
The meeting also addressed traffic issues, Finnish cooperation with Russian regions, construction industry, agriculture, innovation cooperation and shipbuilding. In addition, the parties discussed the implementation of Russia’s WTO commitments.
The Economic Commission is tasked with removal of obstacles to trade and investments, and promotion of connections between companies and development of the business atmosphere. There are 14 sector-specific groups working under the Commission, and the Commission offers framework for Finnish cooperation with ten Russian regions. The co-chairs of the Economic Commission met the last time in Helsinki, in October 2012.
Additional information: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser to Minister Stubb, tel. +358 40 841 7141; and Marja Liivala, Counsellor, Unit for Russia, tel. +358 50 401 6135.