Finland Condemns Installation of Artificial Barriers in Atotsi

Finland has condemned installation of artificial barriers by Russia at the occupation line adjacent to the village of Atotsi in Kareli Municipality, central Georgia.

“We condemn the recent illegal installation of artificial barriers in Kareli municipality and elsewhere in the Georgian territory,” the Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said at the joint press conference with the Georgian Foreign Minister, David Zalkaliani in Helsinki.

Timo Soini reaffirmed Finland’s firm support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as for the Foreign Minister’s clearly demonstrated support 10 years after the Russian-Georgian war.  

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Russian-Georgian conflict and I want to express Finland’s unwavering solidarity with Georgian and Georgian people and our full support for the territorial integrity and support of Georgia,” he said.

The Finnish minister highlighted the importance of the EUMM’s activities on the ground. According to him, Georgia is high on the EU agenda and the EU is unanimous in its support of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

During the face-to-face meeting, the sides appraised the bilateral relationship between Georgia and Finland taking special mention of Finland’s considerable support for the development of democracy and institutional development in Georgia. In this context special attention was paid to the implementation of Twinning projects in Georgia, through the involvement of Finland, to the upgrading of the Georgian customs system, its harmonization of the EU customs system and administrative capacity building of the revenue service.

“Georgia has made a good progress in its internal reforms and I encourage Georgia to go further with this process because it will be of great help not only to your society and but also to the future aspirations to the membership of the European Union,” Timo Soini said.

Discussions also focused on co-operation in the area of education. The sides positively appraised the visit of representatives of the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science to Helsinki. The
Finish Foreign Minister welcomed the initiative of opening a Finnish school in Georgia.

The Ministers welcomed Finland’s upcoming Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Zalkaliani highly appreciated Finland’s important contribution to the implementation of the CoE Action Plan by Georgia. Special note was taken of Finland’s support within the framework of international organizations. The sides also welcomed the fact that Finland is among the co-sponsors of the Resolution on Georgia by the CoE Human Rights Committee.


By Thea Morrison


14 November 2018 11:14