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. 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. 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. 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.
As of March 2011 Finland maintains diplomatic relations with all UN member states.
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.
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.
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.
|1||Denmark||10 January 1918|
|1||Sweden||10 January 1918|
|3||France||24 January 1918|
|5||Norway||6 April 1918|
|6||Argentina||11 May 1918|
|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|
|13||United States||30 May 1919–30 June 1944|
18 August 1945
|14||Belgium||9 July 1919|
|15||Italy||6 September 1919|
|17||Portugal||10 January 1920|
|18||Romania||28 June 1920|
14 October 1949
|19||Luxembourg||24 October 1921|
|20||Hungary||12 April 1922–20 September 1944|
3 October 1947
|21||Turkey||9 December 1924|
|22||Switzerland||29 January 1926|
|24||Brazil||8 April 1929|
|25||Afghanistan||15 December 1930|
11 May 1956
|27||Chile||20 February 1931|
|28||Uruguay||21 March 1935|
|29||Mexico||12 May 1937|
31 August 1949
|30||Holy See||31 July 1942|
|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|
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Algeria||18 January 1963|
|Angola||18 September 1976|
|Botswana||1 July 1978|
|Burkina Faso||1 July 1978||
|Burundi||1 January 1980|
|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. 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.
|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. 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.
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.
|Tanzania||14 June 1965||
|Tunisia||17 July 1959||
|Zambia||8 March 1968||
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||26 September 2008|
|Argentina||11 May 1918||
|Bahamas||2 December 2005|
|Barbados||1 December 1977|
|Belize||19 June 1997||
|Bolivia||21 September 1963|
|Brazil||26 December 1919||See Foreign relations of Brazil
|Canada||21 November 1947||See Canada–Finland relations
|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. The two countries maintain resident ambassadors in both capitals.
|Colombia||26 May 1954||
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.
|Costa Rica||23 August 1966|
|Cuba||23 January 1959||
|Dominica||18 August 2009||
|Dominican Republic||2 January 1984||
|Ecuador||5 February 1965|
|El Salvador||14 April 1967||
|Grenada||1 June 1980||
|Guatemala||18 August 1967||
|Guyana||2 April 1979|
|Haiti||29 September 1966||
|Honduras||30 January 1976|
|Jamaica||1 December 1977||
|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|
|Panama||1 December 1975||
|Paraguay||20 November 1963|
|Peru||29 March 1963||
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||22 September 2009||
|Saint Lucia||22 September 2009||
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||30 January 1976|
|Suriname||28 June 2005|
|Trinidad and Tobago||17 December 1971||
|United States||30 May 1919||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 – and provides about 7% of its imports – principally computers, semiconductors, aircraft, and machinery.
|Uruguay||21 March 1935||
|Venezuela||31 March 1954||
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Afghanistan||11 May 1956||
|Armenia||25 March 1992||
|China||October 28, 1950||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. 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|
|Malaysia||17 November 1972||See Finland–Malaysia relations|
|Nepal||30 August 1955||
|North Korea||1 June 1973||
|Pakistan||January 12, 1951||See Finland–Pakistan relations|
|Saudi Arabia||23 September 1969|
|South Korea||24 August 1973||See Finland – South Korea relations|
|Syria||22 May 1953|
|Thailand||21 June 1954||
|Turkey||20 May 1920||
|Vietnam||5 January 1973||
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Austria||29 March 1949||
|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. 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. During the Winter war and the Continuation war, Denmark took 4,200 Finnish war children. 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. 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
|Ireland||2 November 1961||
|Italy||6 September 1919||
|Kosovo||3 February 2009|
|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 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. 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.
|Slovakia||1 January 1993||
|Slovenia||17 February 1992||
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. 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||
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Australia||31 May 1949||
Diplomatic relations were established on May 31, 1949.
|New Zealand||22 July 1950||
Diplomatic relations were re-established in 1949. A South African legation was established in 1967 and relations were upgraded to ambassadorial level in March 1991. Finland and South Africa enjoy excellent relations and a Declaration of Intent was signed in June 2000 to facilitate bilateral consultations between South Africa and Finland.
From 1966 to 1987 when the Parliament of Finland unanimously adopted the South Africa Act prohibiting trade with South Africa the history of Finnish-South ...
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).