Security policy Foreign Minister Haavisto: The level of preparedness of ministries has been raised – “There is a lot of crisis awareness in the government”

According to the Foreign Minister, Finland is prepared for the consequences of a possible Russian attack.

Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) says the Finnish government is prepared for a possible escalation of the war in Ukraine and the emergencies caused by it.

“Of course, we have raised the level of preparedness in the ministries and the ministries have updated the normal preparedness measures and measures related to security of supply. The situation is in place, ”Haavisto assured HS on Monday evening.

This week is expected to be very central in the direction of the crisis and war in Ukraine.

In the United States, the country’s defense ministry has signaled that Russia would have enough troops near the Ukrainian border to attack.

“Of course we are thinking about the impact of such a situation on the energy economy and what problems it could have and other things like this,” Haavisto says.

According to Haavisto, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has prepared for and considered how quickly to secure Finnish citizens from Ukraine in a crisis situation and how quickly it would happen.

“There is a lot of crisis awareness within the government. This has been discussed, and of course tp-utva has come together. It is likely that different ministers and ministries will be pretty much on the map about their own role in such a situation. ”

In “Tp-utva,” Haavisto refers to the government’s foreign and security policy committee, which meets with the president of the republic.

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Minister of Foreign Affairs according to the government and ministries have had to think about what all possible sanctions and counter-sanctions could trigger and how to prepare for them.

However, not all possible situations can be foreseen. Haavisto takes, for example, Ukrainian seasonal workers in Finnish agriculture. How would their case be handled?

“Energy issues are one issue. Then there are the various hybrid and cyber attacks that today involve paralyzing services. Russia has this capability, and what if it were used? You have to be prepared for everything. ”

Finland last week updated the Ukrainian travel bulletin to the level of “leave the country immediately”. Where did this come from?

“We found out during Friday when various threat assessments were presented that if there were any war events or some kind of attack on Ukraine this week, it would mean restrictions on air traffic or cancellations of flights quite quickly,” Haavisto says.

Finland discussed with the other Nordic countries and stated that it would be good to warn Finnish citizens in time that they would have time for commercial flights.

“We do not know how to give strong assessments of the threat’s schedule, but there were different assessments in the air, and that is why we called on Finns to leave the country.”

The Finnish embassy in Kiev will have a Finnish occupation of about four, on which it will continue to operate.

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Over the past weekend, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has contacted almost all of the approximately 120 Finns who have submitted a travel notice in advance.

Haavisto recalls that the refugee crisis at Afghanistan and Kabul airport last autumn is still fresh in many countries.

“Many states have a situation that materialized in Afghanistan that warns people too early or too late that now is the time to leave. With regard to Afghanistan, many European countries regret warning too late. This will probably be reflected in the situation in Ukraine, ”Haavisto thinks.

“It’s surprisingly fleshy that Afghanistan took care of its own citizens in a timely manner.”

Will attack Russia this week to Ukraine?

“I do not want to be too optimistic, but I see it as good that the connection between Russia and the West continues. I think it is good that there are important visits to Moscow this week as well. ”

Haavisto suggests that the German Chancellor, for example Olaf Scholtz will travel to Moscow on Tuesday. According to him, the Polish Foreign Minister of the OSCE Chairmanship would also be traveling to Moscow this week.

“While there are warning signs of war on the air, I think as long as the talks continue, there is at least a small chance of a diplomatic track,” he says.

“Today’s messages from Moscow seemed to suggest that there is quite a genuine discussion between Russia and the United States in the U.S. responses.”

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Ukraine was once forced to accept the Minsk agreements. Do you understand Ukraine’s reluctant attitude towards them now?

“The basic principles are important in them. The borders of the countries will be preserved and heavy armaments will be taken away from the vicinity of the borders of the countries. It also has obligations for Russia and Ukraine for resolving the governance of the regions of eastern Ukraine, ”Haavisto replies.

“There is no better starting point than the Minsk agreement at the moment. If we start with not starting to apply them, we would be back at zero and at a difficult time. That’s why the United States and the EU are talking about implementing the Minsk agreements. “

Haavisto is concerned that some damage is happening on the Ukrainian-Russian border, triggering fighting.

“The risk of a senseless event increases when troops gather and someone gets nervous. It could be that someone is shooting and there will be retaliation, ”he says.

“I myself have visited the contact line and seen the grandmothers who come across the contact line to apply for their pension money in very harsh conditions. It is a constant human suffering in that area. These people do not want anything so much as peace. ”

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