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Rinne and Medvedev meet in Moscow

The prime ministers will discuss Finnish-Russian relations, trade agreements and the environment in their first ever meeting.

Antti Rinne
Finland's prime minister Antti Rinne travels to Moscow today. Image: Julien de Rosa / EPA

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne will meet with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow Monday.

The agenda for the first meeting between the two prime ministers will include a discussion of bilateral relations, as well as a number of other issues including trade and the environment.

Rinne’s delegation in the meeting will include Minister of Transport and Communications Sanna Marin and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Jari Leppä, and he therefore plans to further raise topics such as transport and forest cooperation between Finland and Russia.

The prime ministers are also expected to discuss foreign policy issues such as military tensions in the Baltic Sea region and Russia's ongoing role in Ukraine.

Climate change a key point

Lauri Voionmaa, a special adviser to the prime minister, told Yle that the Finnish government's climate targets and concrete measures on how to achieve them will be presented at the summit in Moscow. The Finnish government wants to promote Russia's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, which was finally signed by Prime Minister Medvedev in September.

Russia joined the agreement in 2015, but its final ratification was hampered by a number of delays.

In addition, Rinne wants to discuss the protection of the Baltic Sea with Medvedev, as the Finnish government is planning to organise an international summit of prime ministers to help alleviate the environmental problems in the area.

Finland-Russia relations "as good as they can be"

Although this is their first face-to-face meeting, the prime ministers have spoken to each other in the past. Medvedev called Rinne in June to congratulate him on becoming Finnish prime minister, and invited him to visit Moscow.

In a speech to Finnish ambassadors in August, Rinne said that Finland's relations with Russia are "as good as they can be in the current environment". He then referred to the tightening security situation in Europe caused by Russia's actions in Ukraine.

The Finnish government has previously stated the normalisation of Finnish-Russian relations depends on Russia's efforts to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

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