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Economy, Ukraine and Russia on the agenda of German Federal Chancellor Merkel's visit

Government Communications Department
Publication date 30.3.2015 17.56
Press release 173/2015

On Monday 30 March, Prime Minister Alexander Stubb met German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Government Banquet Hall.

The key themes of the meeting included the situation in Ukraine and the future of the EU-Russia relations. Topics relating to external relations included also the development of the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy.

"The conflict in Ukraine can only be solved through the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The European Union stands united in this matter. We also need to support Ukraine on its path of economic and social reforms. Because of the changed security environment, Finland needs further steps in tightening international security and defence policy cooperation with our partners", says Prime Minister Stubb.

In economic issues, the discussions focused on the situation in Greece and the development of the euro area.

"The euro area economy shows signs of recovery which will be reflected in Finland with a delay. Structural changes aiming to improve competitiveness have, however, been carried out mainly in the so called programme countries. The key combination - to be able to ignore the lost decade in European economy - includes structural changes, the internal market and free trade", says Stubb.

Federal Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Stubb attended a seminar on 'European Security and the Conflict in Ukraine' at the University of Helsinki. Prime Minister Stubb spoke about Finland's 20 years of EU membership, Russia's changed foreign and security policy and Finland's current security environment.

During her visit in Finland, Federal Chancellor Merkel also had a meeting with President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö. Federal Chancellor Merkel's previous official visit in Finland was in 2006 when Finland held the EU Presidency. 

Inquiries: Lauri Tierala, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 841 7141 and Kare Halonen, State Secretary, EU Affairs, tel. +358 295 160 315, Prime Minister’s Office

Press release in German (pdf)

Prime Minister Stubb's speech at the seminar

Recordings of the press conference and the seminar:

Photos of the meeting: