Minister for Foreign Trade and Development of Finland Ville Skinnari in an interview with Izvestia on Thursday, June 3, which he gave on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), said whether the country will be able to completely abandon Russian oil in the near future.
The downward trend in oil imports from Russia has been observed since the first quarter of 2021 and continues to gain momentum. According to Skinnari, the country has many reasons for this. In particular, to combat climate change, the state intends to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2035.
“We are using biofuels more and more, we are introducing rules that help us switch to biofuels, our companies are leaders in this,” he said.
In addition, there is a growing demand for electric vehicles, for cars with hybrid engines. The official compared the development of the electric car market with mobile phones. According to the minister, Finland is a good example of how the transition period is being carried out.
“If you look at Finland’s energy portfolio, you will understand that we have reached a certain balance in the energy sector. We are actively developing renewable energy sources. We also have a lot of biomass: forests, just like Russia. And we also have nuclear power. But if we look at the share of oil and gas, we will see that the share of these resources in the energy portfolio is decreasing every year. Including heating. So we are moving towards a fuel-free world. It’s a fact, ”said Skinnari.
He explained that Finland has given companies the opportunity to capitalize on these trends. He stressed that he is very pleased to see how traditional oil and gas companies are joining this trend.
In conclusion, he noted that he believes that in 10-20 years the whole world will be different, and Finland will be different.
Earlier on the same day, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, speaking at the session “The Russian Economy: From the Anti-Crisis Agenda to Sustainable Development” of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2021), said that there was a sharp trend in the global economy for “greening”, and the demand for oil may not recover to 2019 levels. We need to prepare, introduce more taxes on raw materials, less taxes on new industries, and develop this trend further.