Head of Karelia met Finnish President

On November, 24 Head of the Republic of Karelia Sergey Katanandov during his working trip to Finland met with the President of Finland Tarja Halonen. The meeting took place under Sergey Katanandov’s initiative. The Governor of Oulu Eino Siuruainen and the plenipotentiary ambassador of the Russian Federation in Finland Alexander Rumyantsev have taken part in it.

That fact that the Head of our region is received at the highest levels in Finland indicates signigicant interest of the neighbouring state in cooperation and recognition of the role of the Republic of Karelia in development and promotion of this cooperation. Cross-border cooperation has become the key issue during the meeting.

Making comments on the meeting, Sergey Katanandov, in particular, has told:

– There was an accumulation of some problems in the field of cross-border cooperation, and together with the governor of Oulu Eino Siuruainen we have agreed to inform President of Finland Tarja Halonen on it. We have discussed issues of timber processing, environment preservation, humanitarian cooperation and many other things.

– Our Finnish partners were always interested in cooperation with Karelia, and they know the situation in our republic very well, they support joint projects, – Sergey Katanandov considers. – During our cooperation there have been implemented more than 400 joint projects, of them 28 projects were accomplished this year. These are projects in the field of ecology, construction of treatment facilities, projects in the field of boundary infrastructure development – such as creation of the international customs station near Päozero. These are medical and educational projects, joint initiatives in the field of agriculture. The Agreement between the European Union and Russia stipulating the Karelia program in a separate line has been signed recently. This is European money that is allocated for this project, including the share of Finland. Russia and, of course, the Republic of Karelia participate in this project with their funds. Once again we have confirmed our interest in development of economic partnership. We would like to continue teamwork in the sphere of timber processing and we have discussed this subject in detail. Of course, we are interested to continue the experience we have gained in Kostomuksha and Sortavala when the Finnish and European companies established their production lines in our territory, having provided citizens of our republic with workplaces, good salaries, and pumping up the budget. It is very important for us. Friendship between our states has passed many tests, and it lasts for many years; it makes us stronger and increases our opportunities, – Sergey Katanandov has emphasized.

In the beginning of the meeting President of Finland Tarja Halonen has recollected joint history of Russia and Finland and has complimented Head of the Republic of Karelia with the book on the imperial art collection in Finland.

Maxim Tikhonov

Source: The Official Karelia

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