Parts: say 'no' to Russia

  • 2004-09-22
  • Baltic News Service
At their meeting this week, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and Prime Minister Juhan Parts said that the EU should be guided by a common policy on Russia and that the union should be able to say "no" to its eastern neighbor.

"The European Union should act as a united body vis-a-vis Russia if we have common interests in mind," Parts said at a press conference on Sept. 21.

Parts added that Russia is and would remain a partner for the EU and that this should become more of a reality than just simple words. At the same time the EU should not be afraid to say "no" to the Kremlin. He stressed that strategic partnership was the key phrase in qualifying relations with Russia.

Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said that Finland would certainly continue promoting cooperation with Russian both via EU programs as well as on the practical bilateral level.