St. Petersburg governor and Finland’s foreign minister discuss economic and environmental collaboration
St. Petersburg Governor Alexander Beglov and Foreign Minister of Finland Pekka Haavisto have discussed cooperation in the economy, environment and cross-border and interregional ties.
Alexander Beglov pointed out that the city’s ties with its Finnish partners had not decreased despite the pandemic and that many of the planned events had been held online.
“St. Petersburg is a leading partner when it comes to cross-border and interregional collaboration with the European Union. We are implementing 64 out of the 71 Russian-Finnish projects. Preparations are underway for launching new ones designed until 2027,” according to the governor’s press service.
Beglov added that Finland is one of the largest trading partners of St. Petersburg and that there are 400 Finnish companies working in the city.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto noted that Finnish companies believe that St. Petersburg has substantial investment potential, which helps keep up their interest for joint projects. The minister also spoke highly of the city authorities’ experience in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and thanked them for providing the Finnish Consulate General with PPE.
“The governor and the Finnish foreign minister expressed hope that the borders would be reopened and that international tourism would resume soon, considering the good transport communications, such as high-speed trains, and the introduction of e-visas,” the press release says.
The officials also mentioned Arctic development projects as a major sphere of their collaboration. St. Petersburg and other Arctic regions are willing to join the international Northern Periphery and Arctic Program and possibly to conduct joint climate and soil research if the Far North.