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HomeFinlandFinland Plans to Cut Development Aid to Countries That Support Russia

Finland Plans to Cut Development Aid to Countries That Support Russia

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On Monday, the 21st of August, during the three-day annual Ambassadors’ Meeting in Helsinki, Finnish Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio announced a major change in Finland’s foreign policy, reports Brussels Signal, referring to a speech published on Finnish Foreign Ministry’s website.

For Finland’s assistance, countries must now align with its stances, notably concerning the Ukraine conflict.

“FROM NOW ON, FINLAND WILL FOCUS MAINLY ON COOPERATION WITH COUNTRIES THAT DO NOT SUPPORT RUSSIA’S WAR IN UKRAINE.”

Tavio emphasized that he is starting preparations with officials to prioritize these conditions in future [development aid] programs. Finland plans to reduce development aid by about 250 million euros until 2027, implementing changes progressively.

“UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION, UKRAINE WILL BE FINLAND’S MAIN NATIONAL PROGRAMME. FINLAND’S SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE IS UNWAVERING. WE WANT TO SHOW THAT FINLAND IS ON UKRAINE’S SIDE,” TAVIO ADDED.

The government is evaluating which of the 13 aid programs to terminate. Taivo avoided specifying countries affected by the cuts or removal from the list. Tavio emphasized that development cooperation will persist, prioritizing women and girls, self-determination, reproductive health, education, and climate action.

Regarding China, his statements were balanced.

“CHINA IS A VITAL TRADE PARTNER FOR FINLAND, AND OUR COOPERATION IS POSITIVE. FINLAND’S STANCE ON CHINA ALIGNS WITH ITS EU AND NATO AFFILIATIONS,” HE EXPLAINED.

He highlighted the need to decrease strategic reliance on China both nationally and within the EU, as it serves as a partner, competitor, and systemic challenger.

The annual Ambassadors’ meeting in Helsinki, which started on the 21st of August, was the first under Finland’s new conservative government.

Source: Baltic News Network

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