Decree on the implementation of the Decision and Regulation of the Council of the European Union concerning restrictive measures in view of actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine
On 28 February 2022, the Finnish Government issued the Decree on the implementation of the Decision and Regulation of the Council of the European Union concerning restrictive measures in view of actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.
Finland sends additional aid to Ukraine
On the proposal of the Government, the President of the Republic decided today that Finland will increase its aid to Ukraine and also provide military protective equipment to assist the country. The aid is granted under the Act on the Making of Decisions Concerning the Provision of and Request for International Assistance. The Ministry of Defence is the authority responsible for the aid.
EU imposes new sanctions due to Russia's actions
On Wednesday 23 February, the European Union imposed new sanctions due to Russia’s actions. On Monday 21 February, Russia announced that it had decided to recognise the separatist Donetsk and Luhansk regions in Eastern Ukraine. Russia's acts violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia's actions are a grave breach of its international obligations and commitments, including the Minsk Agreements.
Discretionary government grants for CSOs’ Europe information awarded for 2022
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted EUR 445,000 in discretionary government grants to civil society organisations (CSOs) for their Europe information purposes. In this application round, grants were awarded to 19 CSOs and 22 projects.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend the Foreign Affairs Council
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 21 February. The main items on the meeting agenda are the European security situation, climate diplomacy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, preparation of the joint council of the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the EU cyber exercise. The ministers will also hold an informal exchange with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Under current affairs, the foreign ministers will briefly take stock of the situation in Mali. The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on climate diplomacy and on Coordinated Maritime Presences.
Legislative proposal on digital seals for visas submitted to Parliament
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has prepared a legislative proposal for an act amending the Aliens Act, proposing that provisions on the powers of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency relating to the security features of visas issued by Finland be added to the Act. The Government submitted the proposal to Parliament on 17 February. The Act is scheduled to enter into force in spring 2022.
Finland will provide Ukraine with EUR 4 million in additional support via humanitarian aid and development cooperation
Finland has made a one-off decision on providing Ukraine with EUR 4 million in additional support. Of this figure, EUR 3 million is a development cooperation appropriation and EUR 1 million is humanitarian aid.
Finland joined Inter-American Development Bank’s NDC Pipeline Accelerator Trust Fund
Finland joined the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) climate fund at the start of 2022. The NDC (nationally determined contributions) Pipeline Accelerator Multi-Donor Trust Fund, ACL in short, is one of the IDB’s main climate finance facilities. Finland's contribution is EUR 5 million.
Assistance abroad – The demand for consular services provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs is increasing
The second year of the pandemic was busy for the consular assistance services provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Finland's missions abroad, and the number of customers continued to increase. In 2021, the Ministry and the missions abroad provided consular services to a total of 255,000 customers.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto to attend the Global Disability Summit
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will attend the Global Disability Summit in Oslo on 16–17 February. He will announce the Foreign Ministry’s commitments on the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities at the meeting. The aim of the summit is to intensify the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and thereby to bring about substantial improvements in the lives of persons with disabilities.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs continues evacuations from Afghanistan to Finland
Based on the decision to continue evacuations from Afghanistan, 37 Afghans were brought to Finland late on the evening of Thursday 10 February 2022. In addition, about 10 evacuees from Afghanistan will arrive in Finland in the next few weeks.
Long-term national D visa to expedite entry of foreign labour
A legislative amendment, which will enter into force in June, will enable the introduction of a long-term visa. A long-term visa is related to work-based immigration and a fast track procedure for entry into the country. In the first phase, a long-term visa can be issued to senior specialists, start-up entrepreneurs and their family members.
Minister Blomqvist to attend virtual meeting of Ministers for Nordic Cooperation
Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist will attend a virtual meeting of Ministers for Nordic Cooperation on 8 February. This will be the first meeting during Norway’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2022. Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers ended at the turn of the year.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to visit Tehran
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Tehran on 7 February. During the visit, Minister Haavisto will meet, for example, President Ebrahim Raisi and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian as well as heads of the Iranian offices of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) and other representatives of the international community.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto to visit Doha
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will visit Doha, Qatar, on 6 February. During his visit, Minister Haavisto will meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and representatives of the international community.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Haavisto and Minister of Defence Kaikkonen to visit Sweden
Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen will visit Sweden on 2 February and meet with Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde and Minister of Defence Peter Hultqvist.
Minister Skinnari to visit Saudi Arabia and Oman
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will visit Saudi Arabia and Oman from 30 January to 3 February 2022. During his visit, the Minister will meet Saudi Arabian and Omani ministers and representatives of business life. He will also participate in LEAP, a global technology and innovation event, held in Riyadh from 1 to 3 February 2022.
Ministry for Foreign Affairs has solved suspected espionage case
Finnish diplomats have been targets of cyber espionage by means of the Pegasus spyware, developed by NSO Group Technologies, which has received wide publicity. The highly sophisticated malware has infected users’ Apple or Android telephones without their noticing and without any action from the user’s part. Through the spyware, the perpetrators may have been able to harvest data from the device and exploit its features.
Development Policy Committee Analysis: Finland’s international climate finance needs clear direction
Finland's international climate finance needs a transparent long-term operating model, as well as a plan for increasing and targeting the financing. This is the conclusion of the Development Policy Committee's (DPC) recent analysis report ”Finland's International Climate Finance Needs Clear Direction”. The recommendations presented in the report outline actions towards more responsible, just and effective climate finance.
This is FINLAND Magazine 2022–2023: Towards a more sustainable and humane future
This is FINLAND Magazine 2022–2023, providing insights into Finland’s strengths and competence, has now been published in English. This year’s issue has a strong focus on the future. The key topics – digitalisation, curbing climate change, happiness, a good daily life, changes in the workplace and trust – are of great interest both in Finland and worldwide.
Finland releases more than EUR 27 million core humanitarian funding
Core funding to international humanitarian organisations is a rapid and effective way to respond to sudden-onset natural disasters and protracted crises. Finland’s 27.5-million-euro funding will help UN agencies and the International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC to operate in areas where people need help, and to plan their operations flexibly.
Foreign Minister Haavisto to attend the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels and to meet NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg
EU foreign ministers will convene in Brussels on 24 January. The main items on the agenda are the security situation in Eastern Europe and the latest developments in Libya and Syria. The ministers will also discuss the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and the situation in Mali, Sudan and Kazakhstan. Later the same day, Foreign Minister Haavisto and Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
EU foreign affairs ministers to discuss security situation in Eastern Europe
EU foreign affairs ministers will meet at an Informal Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich) on 13–14 January in Brest, France. Finland’s representative at the meeting will be Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto.
Finland increases its support to victims of the most serious crimes of international concern
Finland’s support will be targeted at providing assistance to victims of sexual and gender-based violence in Uganda, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and at implementing reparations awarded to former child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as ordered by the International Criminal Court.
Finland invests in fighting climate change in North Africa
Finland will strengthen its role in the fight against climate change through an investment in a new partnership launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The funding will be targeted at climate action in North Africa.
Finland’s presidency of N5 and NB8 end with Foreign Minister meetings on 20 and 21 December
In 2021, Finland chaired the Nordic (N5) cooperation on foreign and security policy and the Nordic-Baltic (NB8) cooperation. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto will host the last meetings of the two presidencies as virtual meetings on 20 December (N5) and 21 December (NB8).
Finland promotes global vaccination coverage
Finland will donate the second batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses through Team Europe. These vaccines were purchased in advance and they would remain unused in Finland. The vaccine donations will not slow down the rollout of vaccinations in Finland. Finland’s donation of COVID-19 doses and support for vaccine alliance Gavi will increase global vaccine coverage and prevent the rise of new variants.
Finland allocates EUR 125 million to support the world's poorest countries
Finland will contribute EUR 125 million to the replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), which is part of the World Bank Group. The replenishment process was brought forward to help the world’s poorest countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finland alleviates Afghans’ distress
Finland’s bilateral development cooperation with Afghanistan will remain suspended, but funds will be channelled to humanitarian activities and to responding to people’s basic needs. Finland’s support is delivered through the UN and civil society organisations and it will not fall in the hands of or support the Taliban. A new temporary policy line has been adopted by Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.