Foreign relations of Finland

The foreign relations of Finland are the responsibility of the president of Finland, who leads foreign policy in cooperation with the government. Implicitly the government is responsible for internal policy and decision making in the European Union. Within the government, preparative discussions are conducted in the government committee of foreign and security policy (ulko- ja turvallisuuspoliittinen ministerivaliokunta), which includes the Prime Minister and at least the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defence, and at most four other ministers as necessary.[1] The committee meets with the President as necessary. Laws concerning foreign relations are discussed in the parliamentary committee of foreign relations (ulkoasiainvaliokunta, utrikesutskottet). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs implements the foreign policy.

During the Cold War, Finland's foreign policy was based on official neutrality between the Western powers and the Soviet Union, while simultaneously stressing Nordic cooperation in the framework of the Nordic Council and cautious economic integration with the West as promoted by the Bretton-Woods Agreement and the free trade treaty with the European Economic Community. Finland shares this history with close neighbour Sweden, which Finland was a part of until the split of the Swedish empire in 1809. Finland did not join the Soviet Union's economic sphere (Comecon) but remained a free-market economy and conducted bilateral trade with the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Finland unilaterally abrogated the last restrictions imposed on it by the Paris peace treaties of 1947 and the Finno-Soviet Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. The government filed an application for membership in the European Union (EU) three months after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and became a member in 1995. Finland did not attempt to join NATO, even though post-Soviet countries on the Baltic Sea and elsewhere joined. Nevertheless, defence policymakers have quietly converted to NATO equipment and contributed troops.

President Martti Ahtisaari and the coalition governments led Finland closer to the core EU in the late 1990s. Finland was considered a cooperative model state, and Finland did not oppose proposals for a common EU defence policy.[2] This was reversed in the 2000s, when Tarja Halonen and Erkki Tuomioja made Finland's official policy to resist other EU members' plans for common defense.[2] However, Halonen allowed Finland to join European Union Battlegroups in 2006 and the NATO Response Force in 2008.

Relations with Russia are cordial and common issues include bureaucracy (particularly at the Vaalimaa border crossing), airspace violations, development aid Finland gives to Russia (especially in environmental problems that affect Finland), and Finland's energy dependency on Russian gas and electricity. Behind the scenes, the administration has witnessed a resurrection of Soviet-era tactics. The National Security Agency, Finnish Security Intelligence Service, estimates that the known number of Russian agents from Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and GRU now exceeds Cold War levels and there are unknown numbers of others.[3]

As of March 2011 Finland maintains diplomatic relations with all UN member states.[4]

History

After independence from Russia in 1917, the Finnish Civil War, including interventions by Imperial Germany and Soviet Russia, and failure of the Communist revolution, resulted in the official ban on Communism, and strengthening relations with Western countries. Overt alliance with Germany was not possible due to the result of the First World War, but in general the period of 1918 to 1939 was characterised by economic growth and increasing integration to the Western world economy. Relations with Soviet Russia from 1918 to 1939 were icy; voluntary expeditions to Russia called heimosodat ended only in 1922, four years after the conclusion of the Finnish Civil War. However, attempts to establish military alliances were unsuccessful. Thus, when the Winter War broke out, Finland was left alone to resist the Soviet attack. Later, during the Continuation War, Finland declared "co-belligerency" with Nazi Germany, and allowed Northern Finland to be used as a German attack base. The peace settlement in 1944 with the Soviet Union led to the Lapland War in 1945, where Finland fought Germans in northern finland

From the end of the Continuation War with the Soviet Union in 1944 until 1991, the policy was to avoid superpower conflicts and to build mutual confidence with the Western powers and the Soviet Union. Although the country was culturally, socially, and politically Western, Finns realised they had to live in peace with the USSR and take no action that might be interpreted as a security threat. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 opened up dramatic new possibilities for Finland and has resulted in the Finns actively seeking greater participation in Western political and economic structures. The popular support for the strictly self-defensive doctrine remains.

2000 constitution

In the 2000 constitution, where diverse constitutional laws were unified into one statute, the leading role of the President was slightly moderated. However, because the constitution still stipulates only that the President leads foreign policy and the government internal policy, the responsibility over European Union affairs is not explicitly resolved. Implicitly this belongs to the powers of the government. In a cohabitation situation as with Matti Vanhanen's recent second government right-wing government and left-wing President Tarja Halonen, there can be friction between government ministers and the president.

The arrangement has been criticised by Risto E. J. Penttilä for not providing a simple answer of who's in charge.[2]

Multilateral relations

Finnish foreign policy emphasises its participation in multilateral organisations. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995. As noted, the country also is a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace as well as an observer in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The military has been prepared to be more compatible with NATO, as co-operation with NATO in peacekeeping is needed, but military alliance does not have popular support.

In the European Union, Finland is a member of the Eurozone, and in addition, the Schengen treaty abolishing passport controls. 60% of foreign trade is to the EU. Other large trade partners are Russia and the United States.

Finland is well represented in the UN civil service in proportion to its population and belongs to several of its specialised and related agencies. Finnish troops have participated in United Nations peacekeeping activities since 1956, and the Finns continue to be one of the largest per capita contributors of peacekeepers in the world. Finland is an active participant in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and in early 1995 assumed the co-chairmanship of the OSCE's Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Cooperation with the other Scandinavian countries also is important to Finland, and it has been a member of the Nordic Council since 1955. Under the council's auspices, the Nordic countries have created a common labor market and have abolished immigration controls among themselves. The council also serves to coordinate social and cultural policies of the participating countries and has promoted increased cooperation in many fields.

In addition to the organisations already mentioned, Finland is a member of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the International Finance Corporation, the International Development Association, the Bank for International Settlements, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Council of Europe, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Finland has moved steadily towards integration into Western institutions and abandoned its formal policy of neutrality, which has been recast as a policy of military nonalliance coupled with the maintenance of a credible, independent defence. Finland's 1994 decision to buy 64 F-18 Hornet fighter planes from the United States signalled the abandonment of the country's policy of balanced arms purchases from Communist countries and Western countries.

In 1994, Finland joined NATO's Partnership for Peace; the country is also an observer in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. Finland became a full member of the EU in January 1995, at the same time acquiring observer status in the EU's defence arm, the Western European Union.

Generally, Finland has abided by the principle of neutrality and has good relations with nearly all countries, as evidenced by the freedom of travel that a Finnish passport gives.

Diplomatic relations list

Finland has established diplomatic relations with all United Nations member states, plus the Holy See and Kosovo.[5]

# Country Date[5]
1  Denmark 10 January 1918
1  Sweden 10 January 1918
3  France 24 January 1918
4  United Kingdom 1919
5  Norway 6 April 1918
6  Argentina 11 May 1918[6]
7  Japan 24 May 1918
8 March 1957
8  Austria 19 July 1918
29 March 1949
8  Bulgaria 19 July 1918
4 June 1948
10  Netherlands 14 August 1918
11  Spain 16 August 1918
12  Poland 8 March 1919[7]
13  United States 30 May 191930 June 1944
18 August 1945
14  Belgium 9 July 1919
15  Italy 6 September 1919
16  Greece 1920
17  Portugal 10 January 1920
18  Romania 28 June 1920
14 October 1949
19  Luxembourg 24 October 1921
20  Hungary 12 April 192220 September 1944
3 October 1947
21  Turkey 9 December 1924[8]
22   Switzerland 29 January 1926
23  Serbia 1928[9]
24  Brazil 8 April 1929
25  Afghanistan 15 December 1930
11 May 1956
26  Iran 1931[10]
27  Chile 20 February 1931
28  Uruguay 21 March 1935
29  Mexico 12 May 1937
31 August 1949
30  Holy See 31 July 1942[11]
31  Egypt 15 February 1947
32  Iceland 15 August 1947
33  Canada 21 November 1947
34  South Africa 15 May 1949
35  Australia 31 May 1949
36  India 10 September 1949
37  New Zealand 22 July 1950
38  People's Republic of China 28 October 1950
39  Israel 14 November 1950
40  Pakistan 12 January 1951
41  Syria 22 May 1953
42  Colombia 26 March 1954
43  Venezuela 31 March 1954
44  Myanmar 21 June 1954
44  Thailand 21 June 1954
46  Indonesia 6 September 1954
47  Sri Lanka 24 September 1954
48  Philippines 14 July 1955
49  Lebanon 21 June 1956
50  Albania 8 June 1956
51  Cuba 23 January 1959
52  Iraq 15 May 1959
53  Ethiopia 17 July 1959
53  Morocco 17 July 1959
53  Tunisia 17 July 1959
56  Jordan 28 November 1959
57  Cameroon 15 January 1960
58  Chad 12 August 1960
59  Mali 7 October 1960
60  Sudan 27 January 1961
61  Guinea 19 July 1961
62  Cyprus 2 September 1961
63  Republic of Ireland 2 November 1961
64  Algeria 18 January 1963
64  Nigeria 18 January 1963
66  Peru 29 March 1963
67  Mongolia 8 July 1963
68  Bolivia 21 September 1963
69  Paraguay 20 November 1963
70  Ivory Coast 18 June 1964
71  Malawi 13 July 1964
72  Ecuador 5 February 1965
73  Kenya 14 June 1965
73  Tanzania 14 June 1965
73  Uganda 14 June 1965
76  Libya 28 September 1965
77  Costa Rica 23 August 1966
78  Haiti 29 September 1966
79  Republic of the Congo 22 March 1967
80  El Salvador 14 April 1967
81  Guatemala 18 August 1967
82  Zambia 8 March 1968
83  Senegal 31 January 1969
84  Kuwait 21 February 1969
84  Malta 21 February 1969
86  Saudi Arabia 6 June 1969
87  Cambodia 20 January 1970
9 August 1976
88  Liberia 24 March 1970
89  Democratic Republic of the Congo 3 April 1970
90  Central African Republic 22 May 1970
91  Somalia 12 March 1971
92  Trinidad and Tobago 17 December 1971
93  Bangladesh 5 May 1972
94  Malaysia 17 November 1972
95  Germany 7 January 1973
96  Vietnam 25 January 1973
97  Singapore 7 February 1973
98  Oman 1 April 1973
99  North Korea 1 June 1973
100  South Korea 24 August 1973
101  Mauritius 31 October 1973
102  Qatar 1 April 1974
103  Guinea-Bissau 9 August 1974
104    Nepal 21 September 1974
105  Bahrain 20 December 1974
106  Laos 1 January 1975
106  Panama 1 January 1975
108  United Arab Emirates 21 February 1975
109  Mozambique 18 July 1975
110  Niger 28 November 1975
111  Nicaragua 22 December 1975
112  Honduras 30 January 1976
113  Angola 18 September 1976
114  Madagascar 1 June 1977
115  Papua New Guinea 31 September 1977
116  Barbados 1 December 1977
117  Fiji 1 December 1977
117  Ghana 1 December 1977
117  Jamaica 1 December 1977
120  Comoros 19 December 1977
121  Botswana 1 July 1978
122  Lesotho 1 February 1979
123  Mauritania 1 March 1979
123  Sao Tome and Principe 1 March 1979
125  Guyana 2 April 1979
126  Yemen 1 June 1979
127  Kiribati 24 August 1979
128  Burundi 1 January 1980
129  Burkina Faso 15 February 1980
130  Grenada 1 June 1980
131  Vanuatu 31 July 1980
132  Zimbabwe 1 August 1980
133  Rwanda 1 June 1983
134  Cape Verde 22 July 1983
135  Dominican Republic 2 January 1984
136  Maldives 10 August 1984
137  Bhutan 1 May 1986
138  Seychelles 1 April 1987
139  Gabon 20 May 1988
140  Gambia 1 September 1988
141  Brunei 11 November 1988
142  Benin 22 December 1988
143  Namibia 21 March 1990
144  Swaziland 20 September 1990
145  Estonia 29 August 1991
145  Latvia 29 August 1991
145  Lithuania 29 August 1991
148  Russia 30 December 1991
149  Slovenia 17 February 1992
150  Croatia 19 February 1992
151  Belarus 26 February 1992
151  Moldova 26 February 1992
151  Tajikistan 26 February 1992
151  Ukraine 26 February 1992
151  Uzbekistan 26 February 1992
156  Kyrgyzstan 23 March 1992
157  Azerbaijan 24 March 1992
158  Armenia 25 March 1992
159  Kazakhstan 13 May 1992
160  Turkmenistan 11 June 1992
161  Liechtenstein 26 June 1992
162  Georgia 8 July 1992
163  Czech Republic 1 January 1993
163  Slovakia 1 January 1993
165  Eritrea 28 May 1993
166  Tonga 1 December 1993
167  North Macedonia 17 December 1993
168  Marshall Islands 26 December 1993
169  Bosnia and Herzegovina 29 December 1994
170  Andorra 17 July 1995
170  San Marino 17 July 1995
172  Belize 19 June 1997
173  Solomon Islands 16 July 1999
174  Samoa 11 August 1999
175  Timor-Leste 20 June 2002
176  Suriname 28 June 2005
177  Bahamas 2 December 2005
178  Montenegro 12 June 2006
179  Djibouti 14 March 2007
180  Monaco 29 March 2007
181  Equatorial Guinea 30 April 2008
182  Sierra Leone 17 June 2008
183  Antigua and Barbuda 26 September 2008
184  Kosovo 3 February 2009
185  Tuvalu 6 March 2009
186  Nauru 24 March 2009
187  Palau 5 May 2009
188  Dominica 19 August 2009
189  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 11 September 2009
190  Saint Kitts and Nevis 22 September 2009
190  Saint Lucia 22 September 2009
192  Federated States of Micronesia 4 May 2010
193  Togo 12 May 2010
194  South Sudan 29 June 2012[12]

Africa

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Algeria 18 January 1963
  • Algeria is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland has an embassy in Algiers.
 Angola 18 September 1976
  • Angola is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland is represented in Angola through its embassy in Maputo, Mozambique.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Luanda.
 Botswana 1 July 1978
  • Botswana is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland is represented in Angola through its embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Finland has an honorary consulate in Gaborone.
 Burkina Faso 1 July 1978
  • Burkina Faso is represented in Finland through its embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark.
 Burundi 1 January 1980
  • Burundi is represented in Finland through its embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Finland is represented in Angola through its embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
 Comoros

Comoros is represented in Finland by its embassy in Paris, France[13].

 Djibouti 14 March 2007
 Ethiopia July 17, 1959 See Ethiopia–Finland relations

Ethiopia is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Finland has an embassy in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is one of Finland's long-term development partners and in the water and education sectors.[16] On April 29, 2009, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development announced that the Finnish government had made a grant of 11.4 million euros to enable the Benishangul-Gumuz Region to upgrade its capacity to plan and manage its rural water supply and sanitation program to achieve universal access for all Ethiopians.[17]

 Kenya 14 June 1965
 Morocco 17 July 1959
 Mozambique 18 July 1975
 Namibia 21 March 1990 See Finland–Namibia relations

Finland recognised Namibia on March 21, 1990. Both countries established diplomatic relations on the same day. Namibia is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. Finland has an embassy in Windhoek and an honorary consulate in Walvis Bay.

 South Africa 15 May 1949 See Finland – South Africa relations

A South African legation was established in 1967 and relations were then upgraded to ambassadorial level in March 1991.[19] Finland has an embassy in Pretoria, a general consulate in Johannesburg, and a consulate in Cape Town. South Africa has an embassy in Helsinki.[19] During World War II South Africa declared war on Finland.[20]

Finland was a strong supporter of the dismantling of Apartheid in South Africa.[20][21][22]

South African exports to Finland include fresh and dried fruits, wine, pulp, paper, iron, steel, and coal. South Africa imports telecommunication equipment, paper, board products, and machinery from Finland.[19]

 Tanzania 14 June 1965
 Tunisia 17 July 1959
 Zambia 8 March 1968

Americas

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda 26 September 2008
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Antigua and Barbuda.
 Argentina 11 May 1918
 Bahamas 2 December 2005
  • Finland's embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada attends to consular matters relating to The Bahamas.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Nassau.
 Barbados 1 December 1977
  • Barbados is represented in Finland by their embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Finland has an honorary consulate general in Christ Church.
 Belize 19 June 1997
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Belize.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Belize City.
 Bolivia 21 September 1963
 Brazil 26 December 1919 See Foreign relations of Brazil
  • Brazil has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland has an embassy in Brasília.
 Canada 21 November 1947 See Canada–Finland relations
  • Canada has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland has an embassy in Ottawa.
 Chile 17 June 1919 See Chile–Finland relations

Chile recognised Finland's independence on June 17, 1919. Diplomatic relations between them were established in 1931 and have been continuously maintained, despite pressures at times to discontinue them.[26] The two countries maintain resident ambassadors in both capitals.[26]

 Colombia 26 May 1954
  • Colombia is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland is represented through its embassy in Lima, Peru.

The relations between Colombia and Finland are harmonious as both countries share a similar ideology based on democracy, human rights and a lasting peace. It's because of this that Colombia has decided to open an embassy in Helsinki. Colombia also defines Finland as a key player on Colombia's accession into the OECD and the ratification of the Colombia-European Union Trade Agreement.[27]

 Costa Rica 23 August 1966
  • Costa Rica is represent in Finland by their embassy in Oslo, Norway.
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Costa Rica.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general and honorary vice-consulate in San José.
 Cuba 23 January 1959
  • Cuba is represented in Finland by their embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Cuba.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Havana.
 Dominica 18 August 2009
  • Finland has an honorary consulate in Roseau.
 Dominican Republic 2 January 1984
  • The Dominican Republic is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland has an honorary consulate general in Santo Domingo.
 Ecuador 5 February 1965
  • Ecuador is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland's embassy in Lima, Peru attends to consular matters relating to Ecuador.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Guayaquil and Quito.
 El Salvador 14 April 1967
  • El Salvador is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to El Salvador.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate and an honorary vice-consulate in San Salvador.
 Grenada 1 June 1980
  • Grenada is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in St. George's.
 Guatemala 18 August 1967
  • Guatemala is represented in Finland by their embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Guatemala City.
 Guyana 2 April 1979
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 2, 1979.[28]
  • Guyana is represented in Finland by their embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Georgetown.
 Haiti 29 September 1966
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Haiti.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Port-au-Prince.
 Honduras 30 January 1976
  • Honduras is represented in Finland by their embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Honduras.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Tegucigalpa and an honorary consulate in San Pedro Sula.
 Jamaica 1 December 1977
  • Jamaica is represented in Finland by their embassy in London, United Kingdom.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Kingston.
 Mexico 5 December 1937 See Finland–Mexico relations

Mexico recognized the independence of Finland in July 1920.

 Nicaragua 22 December 1975 See Finland–Nicaragua relations
  • Finland is accredited to Nicaragua from its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico.[31]
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Helsinki.[32]
 Panama 1 December 1975
  • Panama is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland's embassy in Mexico City, Mexico attends to consular matters relating to Panama.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Panama City.
 Paraguay 20 November 1963
  • Paraguay is represented in Finland by their embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland's embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina attends to consular matters relating to Paraguay.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Asunción.
 Peru 29 March 1963
  • Peru has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland has an embassy in Lima.
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 22 September 2009
 Saint Lucia 22 September 2009
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Castries.
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 30 January 1976
  • Finland is represented in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines through a roving ambassador[33].
  • Finland has an honorary consulate in Kingstown[34].
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is represented in Finland through it embassy in London[35].
 Suriname 28 June 2005
  • Finland's embassy in Brasília, Brazil attends to consular matters relating to Suriname.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate in Paramaribo.
 Trinidad and Tobago 17 December 1971
  • Trinidad and Tobago is represented in Finland by their embassy in London, United Kingdom.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Barataria.
 United States 30 May 1919[36] See Finland–United States relations

Relations between the United States and Finland are warm. Some 200,000 US citizens visit Finland annually, and about 3,000 US citizens are resident there. The US has an educational exchange program in Finland that is comparatively large for a Western European country of Finland's size. It is financed in part from a trust fund established in 1976 from Finland's final repayment of a US loan made in the aftermath of World War I.

Finland is bordered on the east by Russia and, as one of the former Soviet Union's neighbours, has been of particular interest and importance to the US both during the Cold War and in its aftermath. Before the USSR dissolved in 1991, longstanding US policy was to support Finnish neutrality while maintaining and reinforcing Finland's historic, cultural, and economic ties with the West. The US has welcomed Finland's increased participation since 1991 in Western economic and political structures.

Economic and trade relations between Finland and the United States are active and were bolstered by the F-18 purchase. US-Finland trade totals almost $5 billion annually. The US receives about 7% of Finland's exports – mainly wood pulp and paper, ships, machinery, electronics and instruments and refined petroleum products[37] – and provides about 7% of its imports – principally computers, semiconductors, aircraft, and machinery.

 Uruguay 21 March 1935
  • Uruguay has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland's embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina attends to consular matters relating to Uruguay.
  • Finland also has an honorary consulate general in Montevideo.
 Venezuela 31 March 1954
  • Finland is accredited to Venezuela from its embassy in Bogotá, Colombia.
  • Venezuela is accredited to Finland from its embassy in Oslo, Norway.

Asia

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Afghanistan 11 May 1956
 Armenia 25 March 1992
  • Finland recognised Armenia on December 30, 1991.
  • Armenia is represented in Finland by a non-resident ambassador (based in Yerevan at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs).
  • Finland is represented in Armenia by a non-resident ambassador (based in Helsinki at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and an honorary consulate in Yerevan.
  • Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: relations with Armenia
 China October 28, 1950[40] See China–Finland relations

The two international trade organisations are the Finland-China Trade Association and the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). One of the fastest growing areas of trade between the two countries is in environmental protection.[8][9] and information technology. Nokia is the largest Finnish investor in China.

 Georgia 8 July 1992
 India 10 September 1949
 Indonesia 6 September 1954
 Iran See Finland–Iran relations
 Israel 14 November 1950 See Finland–Israel relations
 Japan 6 September 1919
 Kazakhstan 13 May 1992[49]

See Kazakhstan-Finland relations

  • Finland recognized Kazakhstan upon its independence from the Soviet Union.
  • Finland has an embassy in Astana.
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Helsinki.
 Malaysia 17 November 1972[50] See Finland–Malaysia relations
   Nepal 30 August 1955
 North Korea 1 June 1973[53]
  • Finland recognized the People's Democratic Republic of Korea on April 13, 1973.[54]
  • Finland condemns North Korean nuclear tests and fully agrees with EU foreign policy statements on this matter.[54]
  • International trade has been irregular and sporadic, and it is controlled by UN and EU sanctions.[55]
  • Finland has contributed to humanitarian assistance to North Korea through the Red Cross and the World Food Programme.[55]
  • Neither Finland nor North Korea currently have resident ambassadors. North Korea is represented by the North Korean embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.[55] Finland is represented by the Finnish embassy in Seoul, South Korea.[56]
 Pakistan January 12, 1951 See Finland–Pakistan relations
 Saudi Arabia 23 September 1969
 South Korea 24 August 1973 See Finland – South Korea relations
  • The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Finland and the South Korea began on 1973-08-24.
  • Finland recognised South Korea on April 13, 1973.
  • Finland has an embassy in Seoul.[59]
  • South Korea has an embassy in Helsinki.[60]
 Syria 22 May 1953
 Thailand 21 June 1954
 Turkey 20 May 1920
 Vietnam 5 January 1973

Europe

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Austria 29 March 1949
  • Austria has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Finland has an embassy in Vienna.
 Bulgaria 5 August 1918
 Croatia 19 February 1992 See Foreign relations of Croatia
 Cyprus 2 September 1961
 Czech Republic 1 January 1993 See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic
 Denmark 18 February 1918

Denmark and Finland share a long history, where Danish vikings settled in Finland and made crusades. Both countries were also part of the Kalmar Union.[71] Denmark was the first country along with Sweden to recognize Finland's Independence.

There are 3,000 Finns living in Denmark, and 1,235 Danes living in Finland. During Winter War, over 1,000 Danish volunteers came to help Finland.[72] During the Winter war and the Continuation war, Denmark took 4,200 Finnish war children.[73] Exports to Denmark value at 1.380 billion euros, and imports from Denmark value at 1.453 billion, making Denmark Finland's 10th largest import-trading partner. The Nordic Culture Fund and the Finnish-Danish Cultural Fund support projects of artists in both countries. Many tourists from Finland visit Denmark, 206,000 in 2017, and vice versa: 113,000 Danish tourists visited Finland in 2017. In 1918 Mannerheim visited Copenhagen, asking if Prince Aage would of wanted to become the King of Finland.

 Estonia 29 August 1991

Finland's main language, Finnish, is related to Estonian, and there is and has been a certain feeling of kinship. 76% of Finns have visited Estonia and in 2004, 1.8 million Finns reported visiting Estonia. Finnish and Swedish investors are the largest foreign investors in Estonia.[74] Finland and Estonia are members of the European Union and the Schengen agreement, freeing international travel and trade between the countries.

Finland's government recognised Estonia's independence in 1920. In response to the Soviet invasion, diplomatic missions were de facto removed. However, when Estonia declared independence, this "temporary obstruction" was resolved. Both countries restored diplomatic relations on August 29, 1991. Finland has an embassy in Tallinn and an honorary consulate in Tartu. Estonia has an embassy in Helsinki and five honorary consulates in Oulu, Turku, Raseborg, Tampere and Kotka.

Finland contributed and continues to contribute military aid to Estonia, e.g., training of officers, provision of equipment.

 France 24 January 1918
 Germany 4 January 1918
 Hungary 20 May 1947
 Iceland 15 August 1947 See Finland–Iceland relations
  • Finland has an embassy in Reykjavík.[79]
  • Iceland has an embassy in Helsinki.[80]
  • Both countries are full members of the Nordic Council and the Nordic Passport Union, with no border controls or limitations on travel and residence. On cases concerning an individual, authorities must arrange translations between Finnish and Icelandic, if necessary.
 Ireland 2 November 1961
 Italy 6 September 1919
 Kosovo 3 February 2009

Finland recognised Kosovo March 7, 2008.[85][86] Finland maintains an embassy in Pristina.[87]

 Latvia 24 September 1919
 Lithuania 4 November 1919
 Luxembourg 25 October 1921
 Netherlands 18 August 1918
 Norway 6 April 1918 See Finland–Norway relations
 Poland 8 March 1919 See Finland–Poland relations
 Portugal 10 January 1920
 Romania 14 October 1949
 Russia 30 December 1991

Relations with Russia are peaceful and friendly. Finland imports a lot of goods and basic necessities, such as fuel, and the two nations are agreeing on issues more than disagreeing on them. Russia has an embassy in Helsinki, a consulate-general in Turku and consulates in Lappeenranta and Mariehamn.

Finland has an embassy in Moscow, a consulate-general in Saint Petersburg and two branches of the consulate (in Murmansk and Petrozavodsk).

Finland was a part of the Russian Empire for 108 years, after being annexed from the Swedish empire. Discontent with Russian rule, Finnish national identity, and World War I eventually caused Finland to break away from Russia, taking advantage of the fact that Russia was withdrawing from World War I and a revolution was starting in earnest. Following the Finnish Civil War and October revolution, Russians were virtually equated with Communists and due to official hostility to Communism, Finno-Soviet relations in the period between the world wars remained tense. Voluntary activists arranged expeditions to Karelia (heimosodat), which ended when Finland and the Soviet Union signed the Treaty of Tartu in 1920. However, the Soviet Union did not abide by the treaty when they blockaded Finnish naval ships. Finland was attacked by the USSR in 1939. Finland fought the Winter War and the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in World War II. During these wars the Finns suffered 90,000 casualties and inflicted severe casualties on the Russians (120,000 dead in the Winter War and 200,000 in the Continuation War).

Contemporary issues include problems with border controls causing persistent truck queues at the border, airspace violations, pollution of the Baltic Sea, and Russian duties on exported wood to Finland's pulp and paper industry. Russia also considered large swathes of land near the Finnish border as special security area where foreign land ownership is forbidden. A similarly extensive restriction does not apply to Russian citizens. The Finnish Defence Forces and Finnish Security Intelligence Service have suspected that Russians have made targeted land purchases near military and other sensitive installations for intelligence or special operations purposes.[96][97] Right-wing commentators accuse the government of continuing the policy of Finlandisation.

Recently, Finland-Russia relations have been under pressure with annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, which Finland considers illegal. Together with the rest of the European Union, Finland enforces sanctions against Russia that followed. Still, economic relations have not entirely deteriorated: 11.2% of imports to Finland are from Russia, and 5.7% of exports from Finland are to Russia, and cooperation between Finnish and Russian authorities continues.[98]

 Serbia 1929
 Slovakia 1 January 1993
 Slovenia 17 February 1992
  • Finland recognised Slovenia on January 17, 1992.
  • Finland has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Ljubljana.
  • Slovenia has an embassy in Helsinki.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union.

Tensions between the countries rose in late 2008 when a news program on Finland's national broadcasting company station YLE accused Finnish weapons manufacturer Patria of bribing Slovenian officials to secure an arms deal. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa formally complained to the Finnish ambassador in Ljubljana.[104] This controversy became known as the Patria case.

 Spain 16 August 1918
 Sweden 10 January 1918

Finland and Sweden have always had very close relations, resulting from shared history, numerous commonalities in society and politics, and close trade relations. A newly appointed Foreign Minister makes his or her first state visit to Sweden. Finnish politicians often consider Sweden's reaction to international affairs first as a base for further actions, and thus finally both countries often agree on such issues. If there has ever been any dissonance between the two countries those were the Åland question in the early 1920s and the Swedish neutrality during the Winter War. Finland and Sweden are members of the European Union and the Schengen agreement, freeing international travel and trade between the countries. Furthermore, both participate in the Nordic Council, which grants Swedish nationals slightly more extensive rights than the EU/Schengen treaties alone.

 Ukraine 26 February 1992
 United Kingdom 6 May 1919[36]

Oceania

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia 31 May 1949

Diplomatic relations were established on May 31, 1949.

  • Australia is accredited to Finland from its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Finland has an embassy in Canberra and a consulate in Sydney.
 New Zealand 22 July 1950
  • Finland is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.
  • New Zealand is accredited to Finland from its embassy in The Hague, Netherlands.

International organization participation

See also

References

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External links

Antti Turunen

Antti Turunen is the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Eastern European and Central Asian department. He is also Representative of the UN Secretary General for Georgia. He was also the Permanent Representatives of Finland to the OSCE in Vienna between 2007–2010.

Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy

The Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy (AEPS) (sometimes referred to as the Finnish Initiative) is a multilateral, non-binding agreement among Arctic states on environmental protection in the Arctic. Discussions began in 1989, with the AEPS adopted in June 1991 by Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Soviet Union, and the United States. The AEPS deals with monitoring, assessment, protection, emergency preparedness/response, and conservation of the Arctic zone. It has been called a major political accomplishment of the post–Cold War era.

Arctic policy of Finland

Arctic Policy of Finland is Finland's foreign relations with other Arctic countries, and Finland's government policies on issues occurring within the geographic boundaries of "the Arctic" or related to the Arctic or its peoples. Since Finland is itself an Arctic nation, with roughly one third of its territory existing above the Arctic Circle, the Arctic Policy of Finland includes its domestic policies as regards the Finnish Arctic region. Finland's Strategy for the Arctic Region was released June 4, 2010 and concentrates on seven priorities: security, environment, economy, infrastructure, indigenous peoples, institutions and the European Union.Diplomatically, Finland was integral in the creation of the Arctic Council and remains an active member. Indeed, Finland will be Chair of the Arctic Council in 2017-18 making for increased emphasis on Arctic policy during that time. Specifically, Finland is calling for making the Arctic Council a more robust treaty-making organization and for hosting a meeting of leaders of the eight Arctic nations during their Chairmanship. Finland has also been involved in the Barents Euro-Arctic Council since its creation in 1993. Finland emphasizes the importance of the Arctic Council as a forum for discussion and decision making and suggests strengthening the Council by installing better burden-sharing and a joint budget, establishing a permanent secretariat, expanding the normative role of the Council, enhancing interaction with non-Arctic actors and creating a Communications and Outreach Strategy for the Council. Finland also offers to host a high-level Arctic Summit to discuss the environmental concerns of natural resource exploitation, the legitimacy of different actors in the Arctic and the future of the Arctic Council.Finland is also an EU member, one of only three (along with Sweden and Denmark) Arctic nations, which give it a heightened role in the EU's Arctic Policy and similarly, give the EU a significant role in the Finnish Arctic strategy. Finland supports EU admittance as a permanent observer member of the Arctic Council. In recent years, geopolitical tensions with Russia and repeated military intrusions into Finnish airspace have reinvigorated a debate in Finland about cooperation with NATO, and even the potential for future NATO membership.

Australia–Finland relations

Australia–Finland relations are foreign relations between the Australia and Finland. Diplomatic relations were established on 31 May 1949.

Australia is represented in Finland through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, and through an honorary consulate in Helsinki. Finland has an embassy in Canberra.

Finland–Greece relations

Finnish-Greek relations are foreign relations between Finland and Greece. Greece was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Finland, on January 5, 1918. Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1920.

Since February 1, 1977, Finland has an embassy in Athens. For a long period Finland was represented in Greece through its embassies either in Bucharest, Rome or Belgrade. Finland also has 7 honorary consulates in Kos, Patras, Pireus, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, and Corfu. Greece has an embassy in Helsinki and 4 honorary consulates in Turku, Kuopio, Oulu, and Rovaniemi.

Both countries are full members of the European Union.

There are 1,681 Greeks living in Finland, and 1,600 Finns living in Greece.

Finland–Latvia relations

Finland–Latvia relations are foreign relations between Finland and Latvia. Finland has an embassy in Riga. Latvia has an embassy in Helsinki. Both countries are full members of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, the European Union and the Eurozone.

In 1999, the President of Latvia visited Finland. Finland pledged its support for Latvia to join the European Union.In June 1999, Latvian Prime Minister Vilis Kristopans met Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Kimmo Sasi.

Finland–Nicaragua relations

Finland–Nicaragua relations are foreign relations between Finland and Nicaragua. Finland is represented in Nicaragua through its embassy in Mexico City, Mexico. Nicaragua is represented in Finland through its embassy in Helsinki.

Finland–Poland relations

Finland–Poland relations refer to bilateral relations of Finland and Poland. Both countries are members of the European Union and the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 8, 1919. Finland has an embassy in Warsaw and an honorary consulate in Gdynia. Poland has an embassy in Helsinki.

Finland–South Africa relations

Finnish-South African relations are foreign relations between Finland and South Africa. Diplomatic relations established May 15, 1949. A South African legation was established in 1967 and relations were then upgraded to ambassadorial level in March 1991. Finland has an embassy in Pretoria, a general consulate in Johannesburg and a consulate in Cape Town. South Africa has an embassy in Helsinki. During World War II South Africa declared war on Finland.

Finland–Turkey relations

Finland–Turkey relations are foreign relations between Finland and Turkey. Turkey recognized the independence of Finland on February 21, 1918. Diplomatic relations between them were established on May 20, 1920. Finland has an embassy in Ankara and an honorary consulate general in Istanbul and other honorary consulates in Belek, Bodrum and Izmir. Turkey has an embassy in Helsinki.

List of Finland-related topics

This is a collection of articles relating to Finland, a country in Northern Europe.

List of diplomatic missions in Finland

This page lists diplomatic missions resident in Finland. At present, the capital Helsinki hosts 64 embassies. Several other countries accredit ambassadors from other regional capitals, such as Oslo, Stockholm, London, Hague, Brussels, Copenhagen and Moscow. Honorary consulates are excluded from this listing.

List of twin towns and sister cities in Finland

This is a list of places in Finland having standing links to local communities in other countries. In most cases, the association, especially when formalised by local government, is known as "town twinning" (though other terms, such as "partner towns" or "sister cities" are sometimes used instead), and while most of the places included are towns, the list also comprises villages, cities, districts, counties, etc. with similar links.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Finland)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs (Finnish: ulkoministeri, Swedish: utrikesminister) handles the Finnish Government's foreign policy and relations, and is in charge of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development is also associated with this ministry.

The current Minister for Foreign Affairs is Timo Soini of Blue Reform.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland)

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) is a ministry in the Finnish Government and is responsible for preparing and implementing the government's foreign policy.

New Hanseatic League

The New Hanseatic League, or the Hansa, was established in February 2018 by European Union finance ministers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Sweden through the signing of a two-page foundational document which set out the countries' "shared views and values in the discussion on the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU)." The name is derived from the Hanseatic League, a Northern European commercial and defensive league which lasted until the 16th century.

The New Hanseatic League developed from an informal cooperation among like-minded fiscally conservative northern European states that has also been referred to at various points as 'The Vikings', and the 'Bad Weather coalition'. The grouping sees clubbing together as a way to make up for the loss of the like-minded Britain in the European political arena after Brexit. The countries involved want a more developed European single market, particularly in the services sector (i.e. a so-called 'Capital Markets Union'). They also want to develop the European Stability Mechanism into a full European Monetary Fund that would redistribute wealth from trade surplus to trade deficit EU member states.In a speech delivered in the Netherlands, Ireland's Tánaiste (deputy head of government) Simon Coveney suggested cooperation among the countries in the alliance could extend to foreign policy as well, such as the Middle East peace process and the EU's relations with Africa. Some have expressed fears the New Hanseatic League could exacerbate existing north-south political divides in Europe by grouping northern European countries too closely.In November 2018, the group called for the European Stability Mechanism to be given a greater role in scrutinising national budgets. Under the plan, formal tests of a government’s debt sustainability and ability to repay would be carried out before aid could be provided. The call came after the European Commission's rejection of Italy's 2019 budget, and was signed by ten countries, including the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Northern Future Forum

Northern Future Forum is an annual, informal meeting of prime ministers, policy innovators, entrepreneurs and business leaders from the 9 nations of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Initially referred to as the UK Nordic Baltic Summit, the name Northern Future Forum was introduced at the second meeting in Stockholm, 2012. The group had a period of abeyance since the Stavanger meeting in 2016 was postponed following the outcome of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016, and David Cameron subsequently stepping down as UK prime minister, to be succeeded by Theresa May. The summit was reconvened in October 2018 in Oslo.

Former Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt first suggested that the UK and Nordic-Baltic Eight nations have a summit during his November 2010 visit to the UK,

following the UK general election in May and David Cameron becoming prime minister of the UK coalition government.

Outline of Finland

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Finland.

Finland – sovereign Nordic country located in Northern Europe. Finland has borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland. The capital city is Helsinki.

Around 5.4 million people reside in Finland, with the majority concentrated in the southern part of country. It is the eighth largest country in Europe in terms of area and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The native language for most of the population is Finnish, a member of the Uralic language family most closely related to Estonian and one of the four EU languages not of Indo-European origin. The second official language, Swedish, is spoken by a 5.5 percent minority. Finland is a democratic, parliamentary republic with a central government and local governments in 415 municipalities. Greater Helsinki (including Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen) totals a million residents and a third of the GDP. Other major cities include Tampere, Turku, and Oulu.

Finland was historically part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire. Finland's declaration of independence in 1917 from Russia was followed by a civil war, wars against the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and a period of official neutrality during the Cold War. Finland joined the United Nations in 1955 and the European Union in 1995 and participates in the Eurozone. Finland has been ranked the second most stable country in the world, in a survey based on social, economic, political, and military indicators.Finland has seen excellent results in many international comparisons of national performance such as the share of high-technology manufacturing, the rate of gross domestic product growth, and the protection of civil liberties.

Visa requirements for Finnish citizens

Visa requirements for Finnish citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Finland. As of January 2019, Finnish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 187 countries and territories, ranking the Finnish passport 3rd in terms of travel freedom (tied with the Danish, Italian, and Swedish passports) according to the Henley Passport Index. Additionally, the World Tourism Organization also published a report on 15 January 2016 ranking the Finnish passport 1st in the world (tied with Denmark, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Singapore and the United Kingdom) in terms of travel freedom, with the mobility index of 160 (out of 215 with no visa weighted by 1, visa on arrival weighted by 0.7, eVisa by 0.5 and traditional visa weighted by 0).

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