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Sanctions against Russia will do EU no good — Finnish PM

March 12, 2014, 20:06 UTC+3 HELSINKI

Finland’s Prime Minister Jyrki Kataynen says sanctions and retaliatory sanctions will harm both sides

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HELSINKI, March 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Sanctions against Russia will do the European Union no good, Finland’s Prime Minister Jyrki Kataynen said during the parliamentary debates on Wednesday.

“Finland underscores the need to settle the situation via negotiations. Sanctions and retaliatory sanctions will harm both sides,” said Kataynen. The crisis should be resolved “with peaceful and democratic means, for which all the forces involved should demonstrate political will”, he believes.

“Our policy in relation to Russia is aimed at involving the country into international cooperation. Our goal was and remains a natural one - neighborly relations in Europe that benefit Finland, the EU and Russia as well,” said Kataynen. “Russia and the EU need each other. Resolution of a whole range of international issues would fail without Russia.”

Furthermore, Ukraine should give close attention to the rights of the Russian-speaking minority and cooperate with international organizations on this issue, he believes.

“Violation of national minorities’ rights is at variance with the international law, and relying upon the international law and international organizations is the only right way to handle in such situations. If needed, the OSCE and the Council of Europe can assist,” said Kataynen.

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