Interview with Ambassador of Finland to Ukraine Juha Virtanen (31.05.2019)

In “Eurointegrators,” media expert and ex-Deputy Minister for Information Policy of Ukraine Tetiana Popova sits down with diplomats, heads of international organizations, and Ukrainian power brokers to discuss Ukraine’s European integration.

In this episode, the guests are Oleksandr Danylyuk – ex minister of finance of Ukraine, and member of the team of Volodymyr Zelenskiy – and Brian Bonner – Kyiv Post’s chief editor.

The show is produced by a Ukrainian NGO Information Security and Oboz.TV.

See the text version of the interview: Popova: Hello, I present today a new episode of my program “Eurointegrators”, and my guests today are the Ambassador of Finland to Ukraine Juha Virtanen and Igor Solovey – Head of the International department of lb.ua. Mr. Virtanen, Finland is an active partner of NATO, but your country is not a part of the Alliance. Why is that?

Virtanen: Well, Finland has followed already many decades the policy to stay outside any military alliances. Maybe it comes from our historical experience, from our geographic location and looking for the security situation around Finland in Northern Europe, in Europe and globally. We try to have such kind of margin to maneuver to contribute to the security and peace in the world and in Europe. And this gives us a good place to look around quite freely. Our contribution – it is I think the best way how to guarantee stability in Europe and in our neighborhood. Of course this partnership, there are also partnerships where we are involved, like our Nordic countries. Nordic partners, we have Nordic defense cooperation and in the European Union has as well this kind of European defense policy and cooperation that is very advanced. So, I think, producing the stability and contributing piece globally, we have to take a look at the best way to keep outside any military alliances.

Popova: The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats was created in Helsinki under the European Union but with the big, huge I would say contribution from other NATO countries. What are the functions of this Center?

Virtanen:  This hybrid topic – it’s a very important topic nowadays, when we look at different threats for the security and stability in Europe and in the world. This initiative for this kind of Center of Excellence to be established in Finland came from the European and external service. And I think they considered Finland is a good example of this kind of comprehensive security. In Finland, we have this tradition that our defense – it’s very comprehensive. It’s not only military, it’s economic, we look at the society as a whole and we have a good cooperation with the companies and the civil society and organizations, I think there we have something to give, and also our technology is quite advanced. And as for Finland, I think we were also interested to increase our own capability in this hybrid area, that Is why Finland was ready to host this Center and also to be in partnership with other countries.

Popova: But usually such Centers of Excellence are being opened under NATO, in Riga there is a Center of Excellence for StratCom, I believe, in Estonia they have a Cyber Security Center of Excellence. Why was in opened in Finland? What is the status of this project? Is it a government project, non-government project?

Virtanen:  Yes, it’s in the governmental, it’s multi-national like that. Today we have 20 different countries who are members of that Center, and its function is it tries to build the capabilities to countries to counter of this hybrid threats and also to exchange views there, and also to share experiences and best practices among countries. It’s also a co-facilitator between the European Union and NATO, and for that role Finland is, I think, an excellent choice, we provide the platform for new ideas and also perhaps to organize exercises and trainings in that area.

Popova: What are the results of work of such center? Are there bulletins or newsletters, which the Center contributes for open public or between members?

Virtanen:  It’s mostly between members. Finland from the budget of this center is covering half of that, and other contributing or participating countries are contributing another half of that budget. And all of these partners give their experience and knowledge to that Center. It’s a kind of a hub or network where everybody can put their knowledge in this area. I think it’s quite open and transparent being there within European Union and NATO, it’s let’s say a big family. If everybody contribute and give their best practices and to exchange views, I think it will be very useful for everybody, and increase knowledge also for society how to counter these hybrid threats.

Popova: Ihor, can Ukrainian experience be useful in this issue?

Solovey: I think, yes, it would be. Ukraine is a battlefield for Russia to test its information campaigns in a fighting against Ukraine. So, Ukraine is like a testing ground for using and testing of new methods of informational Russian battle. Ukraine`s experience would be useful as the country has many specialists, they faced and face Russian disinformation in daily bases and know how to deal with that. I mean Ukrainians and Russians, who left their country for some reasons, and their knowledge and experience could be effectively used to resist Russian propaganda style campaigns.

Popova: A question to both of you. Do you think that it may be useful for such center to be created in Ukraine?

Virtanen: It is useful to have as much exchanges of views on this topic, on this issue. And also this Center is now education platform between NATO and European Union countries, I think it’s also important to exchange views with other countries. I think here, In Ukraine, in Kyiv, there was a forum or a seminar on this issue last November, which was very interesting. It was organized by Ukrainian-NATO cooperation, and we had also experts from Finland and there were people from our Ministry. I think this awareness of this hybrid theme – it’s increasing and it’s becoming more and more important, and that needs cooperation all around Europe.

Solovey: Yes, such a center would be useful for Ukraine for the reasons I listed above. Still, the practical realization of this project seems rather doubtful in one year or year and a half period. This is due to some factors. The first is that western countries do not wish to create such a center in Ukraine. If there were some their plans or a wish, the center would be already formed. But now it means they lack a will to launch the process. And the second reason – internal political factors within Ukraine that are blocking this process.

Popova: Your answer is a bit unexpectable to me, because such kind of center existed in Ukraine in 2014, till the beginning of 2015. It was called Information Analytical Center of National Security and Defense Council, where every morning we gathered together with the government entities, journalists, media specialists, NATO specialists too and developed daily narratives and daily messages in the most dangerous period of war. Unfortunately, it was closed for not understandable by me reasons in 2015, but Finland’s specialists came to Ukraine several times to consult with me about such center before they had created this Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.

Solovey: The activities of the Ukrainian center you`ve just talked about were stopped due to political issues I think. And now it is unlikely to get it restarted for exactly the same political reasons. It`s renewal would be possible but just without Ukrainian side taking part in a process.

Popova: Geographically, Russia is a neighbor of Finland, in the same time, you cooperate and in some cases, even your Head of the Ministry of Foreign affairs defended Russia’s presence in the Council of Europe. Why does it happen?

Virtanen: The relations between Finland and Russia – they are functioning and they are very pragmatic. We have good cooperation in several areas with Russia just because Russia is our neighbor; we have in economic sphere lot of cooperation of course, in environmental sector, and Finland has been initiate the Northern Dimension where we have some projects as well. The cooperation and contacts dialogue between, let’s say, between border authorities, customs authorities – it’s everyday contacts. And I think there is no problem in that. Of course, we acknowledge this Russian power politics nowadays, but there is no any immediate threats as such, as we look around us. The Council of Europe question – it’s of course related to some other issues, not the Finnish-Russian relations, but we consider that it would be beneficial for the Council of Europe, if Russia would be part there, and for the Russian society as Russians could use the mechanisms of the Council of Europe in this human rights issue, democratic issue, rule of law issue. I think it would be important to be there and, let’s say, to follow the norms of the Council of Europe for every European state.

Solovey: Capital and business continue to leave Russia. Does Finland draw attention to purity of Russian investments?

Virtanen: I think in this area we have had quite many processes and businesses, like Finland we are commercial partners, and of course, we buy energy, gas is coming from Russia. Russia is an important provider of materials to Finland, and Finland from its part is exporting quite many different issues to Russia. In that way we are trying to develop all the time our businesses, because we are neighbors, and it’s quite logical that we have a lot of interconnection also in other fields like tourism and infrastructure etc.

Solovey: But the purity of these Russian investments is important for you or not?

Virtanen:  No, we have no so much Russian investments in Finland. We have mostly Finnish investments in Russia, but now it has been decreasing as well because of this business climate, which is not always positive there. But these Russian investments in Finland – they are very small numbers.

Popova: Russia occupied territories of Finland several times; Karelia is still a part of the Russian Federation. Does Finland feel any threats to its territory integrity from Russia now?

Virtanen:  I don’t know if Russia occupied several times Finland. Finland was never occupied like that, not even during the Second World War.

Popova: Karelia?

Virtanen:  We lost some parts of Finland in that war, we lost Karelia, some parts of the eastern border area of Finland, and also Petsamo area in the North. All this is stipulated in the Paris peace treaty, all these issues, and after that, there has been no any discussion or any dialogue on these territorial issues. On the contrary, we are having very good cooperation as well in that part of Russia, which belonged to Finland, and we don’t see any immediate threats or something happening now, but being aware of this Russia power politics, and of course we are worried about this stability and peace in Europe, as anybody else. So, as I told, with Russia, we have a functioning and pragmatic approach to all these political issues.

Solovey: What security threats do you see for Northern Europe?

Virtanen: We are trying to prove generally environmental issues, because the threats, which are coming, they may be there in Baltic Sea area, it may be in Arctic area, but it’s also related to this overall European situation also with environmental questions.  I think we try to emphasize on this type of cooperation to have better environment and also infrastructure to develop in cooperation with our neighbors. That’s very important. So we are trying to develop commerce and trade in military and political sphere. There is no now any immediate big problems.

Popova: “Gasprom” started the pipeline development of “North Stream-2” through Finland’s territory with Finland’s approval. Don’t you think it can increase Russia’s influence?

Virtanen:  We consider this “Nord Stream-2” as a commercial project. When Finland was assessing this project of Russia to build, we took a look to our obligations from the law of the sea, because this pipeline goes through our commercial and economic zone. So, we have looked at this from the law of the sea and also environmental threats to that pipeline, and from the Finnish water law it’s involved in that project. And then we considered it’s okay, it fulfills these obligations and it was set that it’s a commercial project. Of course, we are aware that there are political considerations to that pipeline as well, but we see that it’s more that this supply of energy and energy security question, commercial project, not political project.

Popova: Yes, but it could be not only an energy supply, but also energy dependence. And an energy war is also a part of a hybrid war.

Virtanen:  Anyhow, I think Russia is a very important provider of gas to Europe, and it’s very difficult to bypass this Russian provider. And also Ukraine – we consider it’s important for Ukraine to continue this transit activities, because we see that it’s mostly energy supply.

Popova: Finland stated that sanctions against Russia must be continued. What other methods of pressure to Russia in order to stop their aggression against Ukraine can you recommend and do you see?

Virtanen:  It’s very difficult to recommend anything else. I think in this international politics and tools that available to react against aggressions, so these sanctions is the only possibility that we have at disposal nowadays. And let’s hope that these sanctions are effective, also to take into consideration loss that are coming from sanctions. But what other instruments could be used – we should perhaps to improve our resilience to these kind of aggressions, everybody should follow the international law. Sanctions are coming when you break laws, and also we talked about these hybrid threats, it’s a part of that, we know that these aggressors, they use different hybrid instruments for this aggression. And that is one thing we are doing now – trying to have a resilience with these hybrid awareness.

Popova: So you think answer from the European Union for arresting Ukrainian navy and ships, and almost occupation of the Azov Sea is just building resilience?

Virtanen:  No, in that way it all has gone far beyond this resilience or hybrid level. It’s already a fact, it has been a concrete fact. And in this case as well that the European Union is considering sanctions again. What other tools – it’s very difficult to say.

Solovey: Russia is under EU sanctions, and also the Kremlin has introduced its anti-European sanctions. How did Finland find a solution of this situation?

Virtanen: Finland is a member of the European Union, we implement fully decisions of the European Union as well, because we are a part of those who are having sanctions against Russia. It’s true that Finland suffered perhaps more than other countries in the European Union in the commercial level, that our trade has diminished a little bit, not crucially but a little bit because of the sanctions, and of course Finland complies totally with the European Union policy in that. So I think all that has been done, will be done in the European Union Finland is important and Finland is a part of those decisions.

Popova: In Finland, even after the war in Ukraine started was some meetings or big forums of ideologist of the “Russian World”, Dugin as an example. And I know that Putin and other businessmen, oligarchs from cooperative “Ozero” have business in Finland. Don’t you see threats in that? Because really forum of ideologists is a little bit too much, from my point of view. Threats for Finland I mean.

Virtanen: I think in Finland we are used to this kind of cooperation with Russia, and tens of thousands of Russian origin people are living in Finland. And we have no any problems, the Finns have no problems to live with Russians who are in Finland. On the contrary, I think, it has been a plus for our relations that we have in both nationalities living, and we don’t see any negative effects on this issue. As for these businessmen we have one such investment or let’s say territorial part in the islands of Finland, where these Russian businessmen owned these islands, and they invested some buildings there. But then it turned out that it was a criminal organization and money, so Finland reacted to this, so that we keep our eyes open of course and looking what is happening with this kind of investments. Of course they must be legal and without any criminal background. So we reacted very quickly, and I think that Finnish authorities are following all this kind of activities very closely.

Popova: Thank you very much for coming to our studio, thanks to all who watched us. See you next week.

Source and video: 

In “Eurointegrators,” media expert and ex-Deputy Minister for Information Policy of Ukraine Tetiana Popova sits down with diplomats, heads of international organizations, and Ukrainian power brokers to discuss Ukraine’s European integration.

In this episode, the guests are Oleksandr Danylyuk – ex minister of finance of Ukraine, and member of the team of Volodymyr Zelenskiy – and Brian Bonner – Kyiv Post’s chief editor.

Watch other episodes of “EuroIntegrators.”

The show is produced by a Ukrainian NGO Information Security and Oboz.TV.

See the text version of the interview: Popova: Hello, I present today a new episode of my program “Eurointegrators”, and my guests today are the Ambassador of Finland to Ukraine Juha Virtanen and Igor Solovey – Head of the International department of lb.ua. Mr. Virtanen, Finland is an active partner of NATO, but your country is not a part of the Alliance. Why is that?

Virtanen: Well, Finland has followed already many decades the policy to stay outside any military alliances. Maybe it comes from our historical experience, from our geographic location and looking for the security situation around Finland in Northern Europe, in Europe and globally. We try to have such kind of margin to maneuver to contribute to the security and peace in the world and in Europe. And this gives us a good place to look around quite freely. Our contribution – it is I think the best way how to guarantee stability in Europe and in our neighborhood. Of course this partnership, there are also partnerships where we are involved, like our Nordic countries. Nordic partners, we have Nordic defense cooperation and in the European Union has as well this kind of European defense policy and cooperation that is very advanced. So, I think, producing the stability and contributing piece globally, we have to take a look at the best way to keep outside any military alliances.

Popova: The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats was created in Helsinki under the European Union but with the big, huge I would say contribution from other NATO countries. What are the functions of this Center?

Virtanen:  This hybrid topic – it’s a very important topic nowadays, when we look at different threats for the security and stability in Europe and in the world. This initiative for this kind of Center of Excellence to be established in Finland came from the European and external service. And I think they considered Finland is a good example of this kind of comprehensive security. In Finland, we have this tradition that our defense – it’s very comprehensive. It’s not only military, it’s economic, we look at the society as a whole and we have a good cooperation with the companies and the civil society and organizations, I think there we have something to give, and also our technology is quite advanced. And as for Finland, I think we were also interested to increase our own capability in this hybrid area, that Is why Finland was ready to host this Center and also to be in partnership with other countries.

Popova: But usually such Centers of Excellence are being opened under NATO, in Riga there is a Center of Excellence for StratCom, I believe, in Estonia they have a Cyber Security Center of Excellence. Why was in opened in Finland? What is the status of this project? Is it a government project, non-government project?

Virtanen:  Yes, it’s in the governmental, it’s multi-national like that. Today we have 20 different countries who are members of that Center, and its function is it tries to build the capabilities to countries to counter of this hybrid threats and also to exchange views there, and also to share experiences and best practices among countries. It’s also a co-facilitator between the European Union and NATO, and for that role Finland is, I think, an excellent choice, we provide the platform for new ideas and also perhaps to organize exercises and trainings in that area.

Popova: What are the results of work of such center? Are there bulletins or newsletters, which the Center contributes for open public or between members?

Virtanen:  It’s mostly between members. Finland from the budget of this center is covering half of that, and other contributing or participating countries are contributing another half of that budget. And all of these partners give their experience and knowledge to that Center. It’s a kind of a hub or network where everybody can put their knowledge in this area. I think it’s quite open and transparent being there within European Union and NATO, it’s let’s say a big family. If everybody contribute and give their best practices and to exchange views, I think it will be very useful for everybody, and increase knowledge also for society how to counter these hybrid threats.

Popova: Ihor, can Ukrainian experience be useful in this issue?

Solovey: I think, yes, it would be. Ukraine is a battlefield for Russia to test its information campaigns in a fighting against Ukraine. So, Ukraine is like a testing ground for using and testing of new methods of informational Russian battle. Ukraine`s experience would be useful as the country has many specialists, they faced and face Russian disinformation in daily bases and know how to deal with that. I mean Ukrainians and Russians, who left their country for some reasons, and their knowledge and experience could be effectively used to resist Russian propaganda style campaigns.

Popova: A question to both of you. Do you think that it may be useful for such center to be created in Ukraine?

Virtanen: It is useful to have as much exchanges of views on this topic, on this issue. And also this Center is now education platform between NATO and European Union countries, I think it’s also important to exchange views with other countries. I think here, In Ukraine, in Kyiv, there was a forum or a seminar on this issue last November, which was very interesting. It was organized by Ukrainian-NATO cooperation, and we had also experts from Finland and there were people from our Ministry. I think this awareness of this hybrid theme – it’s increasing and it’s becoming more and more important, and that needs cooperation all around Europe.

Solovey: Yes, such a center would be useful for Ukraine for the reasons I listed above. Still, the practical realization of this project seems rather doubtful in one year or year and a half period. This is due to some factors. The first is that western countries do not wish to create such a center in Ukraine. If there were some their plans or a wish, the center would be already formed. But now it means they lack a will to launch the process. And the second reason – internal political factors within Ukraine that are blocking this process.

Popova: Your answer is a bit unexpectable to me, because such kind of center existed in Ukraine in 2014, till the beginning of 2015. It was called Information Analytical Center of National Security and Defense Council, where every morning we gathered together with the government entities, journalists, media specialists, NATO specialists too and developed daily narratives and daily messages in the most dangerous period of war. Unfortunately, it was closed for not understandable by me reasons in 2015, but Finland’s specialists came to Ukraine several times to consult with me about such center before they had created this Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.

Solovey: The activities of the Ukrainian center you`ve just talked about were stopped due to political issues I think. And now it is unlikely to get it restarted for exactly the same political reasons. It`s renewal would be possible but just without Ukrainian side taking part in a process.

Popova: Geographically, Russia is a neighbor of Finland, in the same time, you cooperate and in some cases, even your Head of the Ministry of Foreign affairs defended Russia’s presence in the Council of Europe. Why does it happen?

Virtanen: The relations between Finland and Russia – they are functioning and they are very pragmatic. We have good cooperation in several areas with Russia just because Russia is our neighbor; we have in economic sphere lot of cooperation of course, in environmental sector, and Finland has been initiate the Northern Dimension where we have some projects as well. The cooperation and contacts dialogue between, let’s say, between border authorities, customs authorities – it’s everyday contacts. And I think there is no problem in that. Of course, we acknowledge this Russian power politics nowadays, but there is no any immediate threats as such, as we look around us. The Council of Europe question – it’s of course related to some other issues, not the Finnish-Russian relations, but we consider that it would be beneficial for the Council of Europe, if Russia would be part there, and for the Russian society as Russians could use the mechanisms of the Council of Europe in this human rights issue, democratic issue, rule of law issue. I think it would be important to be there and, let’s say, to follow the norms of the Council of Europe for every European state.

Solovey: Capital and business continue to leave Russia. Does Finland draw attention to purity of Russian investments?

Virtanen: I think in this area we have had quite many processes and businesses, like Finland we are commercial partners, and of course, we buy energy, gas is coming from Russia. Russia is an important provider of materials to Finland, and Finland from its part is exporting quite many different issues to Russia. In that way we are trying to develop all the time our businesses, because we are neighbors, and it’s quite logical that we have a lot of interconnection also in other fields like tourism and infrastructure etc.

Solovey: But the purity of these Russian investments is important for you or not?

Virtanen:  No, we have no so much Russian investments in Finland. We have mostly Finnish investments in Russia, but now it has been decreasing as well because of this business climate, which is not always positive there. But these Russian investments in Finland – they are very small numbers.

Popova: Russia occupied territories of Finland several times; Karelia is still a part of the Russian Federation. Does Finland feel any threats to its territory integrity from Russia now?

Virtanen:  I don’t know if Russia occupied several times Finland. Finland was never occupied like that, not even during the Second World War.

Popova: Karelia?

Virtanen:  We lost some parts of Finland in that war, we lost Karelia, some parts of the eastern border area of Finland, and also Petsamo area in the North. All this is stipulated in the Paris peace treaty, all these issues, and after that, there has been no any discussion or any dialogue on these territorial issues. On the contrary, we are having very good cooperation as well in that part of Russia, which belonged to Finland, and we don’t see any immediate threats or something happening now, but being aware of this Russia power politics, and of course we are worried about this stability and peace in Europe, as anybody else. So, as I told, with Russia, we have a functioning and pragmatic approach to all these political issues.

Solovey: What security threats do you see for Northern Europe?

Virtanen: We are trying to prove generally environmental issues, because the threats, which are coming, they may be there in Baltic Sea area, it may be in Arctic area, but it’s also related to this overall European situation also with environmental questions.  I think we try to emphasize on this type of cooperation to have better environment and also infrastructure to develop in cooperation with our neighbors. That’s very important. So we are trying to develop commerce and trade in military and political sphere. There is no now any immediate big problems.

Popova: “Gasprom” started the pipeline development of “North Stream-2” through Finland’s territory with Finland’s approval. Don’t you think it can increase Russia’s influence?

Virtanen:  We consider this “Nord Stream-2” as a commercial project. When Finland was assessing this project of Russia to build, we took a look to our obligations from the law of the sea, because this pipeline goes through our commercial and economic zone. So, we have looked at this from the law of the sea and also environmental threats to that pipeline, and from the Finnish water law it’s involved in that project. And then we considered it’s okay, it fulfills these obligations and it was set that it’s a commercial project. Of course, we are aware that there are political considerations to that pipeline as well, but we see that it’s more that this supply of energy and energy security question, commercial project, not political project.

Popova: Yes, but it could be not only an energy supply, but also energy dependence. And an energy war is also a part of a hybrid war.

Virtanen:  Anyhow, I think Russia is a very important provider of gas to Europe, and it’s very difficult to bypass this Russian provider. And also Ukraine – we consider it’s important for Ukraine to continue this transit activities, because we see that it’s mostly energy supply.

Popova: Finland stated that sanctions against Russia must be continued. What other methods of pressure to Russia in order to stop their aggression against Ukraine can you recommend and do you see?

Virtanen:  It’s very difficult to recommend anything else. I think in this international politics and tools that available to react against aggressions, so these sanctions is the only possibility that we have at disposal nowadays. And let’s hope that these sanctions are effective, also to take into consideration loss that are coming from sanctions. But what other instruments could be used – we should perhaps to improve our resilience to these kind of aggressions, everybody should follow the international law. Sanctions are coming when you break laws, and also we talked about these hybrid threats, it’s a part of that, we know that these aggressors, they use different hybrid instruments for this aggression. And that is one thing we are doing now – trying to have a resilience with these hybrid awareness.

Popova: So you think answer from the European Union for arresting Ukrainian navy and ships, and almost occupation of the Azov Sea is just building resilience?

Virtanen:  No, in that way it all has gone far beyond this resilience or hybrid level. It’s already a fact, it has been a concrete fact. And in this case as well that the European Union is considering sanctions again. What other tools – it’s very difficult to say.

Solovey: Russia is under EU sanctions, and also the Kremlin has introduced its anti-European sanctions. How did Finland find a solution of this situation?

Virtanen: Finland is a member of the European Union, we implement fully decisions of the European Union as well, because we are a part of those who are having sanctions against Russia. It’s true that Finland suffered perhaps more than other countries in the European Union in the commercial level, that our trade has diminished a little bit, not crucially but a little bit because of the sanctions, and of course Finland complies totally with the European Union policy in that. So I think all that has been done, will be done in the European Union Finland is important and Finland is a part of those decisions.

Popova: In Finland, even after the war in Ukraine started was some meetings or big forums of ideologist of the “Russian World”, Dugin as an example. And I know that Putin and other businessmen, oligarchs from cooperative “Ozero” have business in Finland. Don’t you see threats in that? Because really forum of ideologists is a little bit too much, from my point of view. Threats for Finland I mean.

Virtanen: I think in Finland we are used to this kind of cooperation with Russia, and tens of thousands of Russian origin people are living in Finland. And we have no any problems, the Finns have no problems to live with Russians who are in Finland. On the contrary, I think, it has been a plus for our relations that we have in both nationalities living, and we don’t see any negative effects on this issue. As for these businessmen we have one such investment or let’s say territorial part in the islands of Finland, where these Russian businessmen owned these islands, and they invested some buildings there. But then it turned out that it was a criminal organization and money, so Finland reacted to this, so that we keep our eyes open of course and looking what is happening with this kind of investments. Of course they must be legal and without any criminal background. So we reacted very quickly, and I think that Finnish authorities are following all this kind of activities very closely.

Popova: Thank you very much for coming to our studio, thanks to all who watched us. See you next week.

Source and video: https://www.kyivpost.com/multimedia/video/eurointegrators-interview-with-ambassador-of-finland-to-ukraine-juha-virtanen

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