Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto Visits Vienna

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: November 1, 2022; 20:57 ♦ (Vindobona)

Finland's Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto is visiting Vienna and met with various dignitaries in Vienna. Bilateral talks with Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Secretary-General of the OSCE Helga Maria Schmid and IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi focused on European security, energy security and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto came to Vienna for a working meeting. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg received the Finnish Foreign Minister, Pekka Haavisto, for working talks in Vienna. The exchange focused on the Russian war against Ukraine, in particular its impact on Russia's immediate neighborhood, as well as the issue of energy security.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed the threat posed by Russia to Finland, which is particularly exposed due to its geographic location. For example, securing the border with Russia, which stretches over 1,340 km, is a particular challenge, not least because of the flight of numerous Russians affected by the mobilization campaign. The effects of the Russian war of aggression, which extend far beyond Finland, were also discussed, above all the issue of energy security.

Foreign Minister Schallenberg also stressed to his Finnish counterpart the need to maintain channels of communication with Russia. Especially given the negotiations that will ultimately be necessary to end the war of aggression, it is important to keep direct channels of communication with Russia open.

Finally, the two foreign ministers also spoke about the important mediation role of the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which Finland will chair in 2025.

Finland and the OSCE

As an important issue as Finland will chair the OSCE in 2025, Finish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto also met with the Secretary-General of the OSCE, Helga Maria Schmid in Vienna. Among the topics discussed were European security, tackling common challenges, and enhancing OSCE's important work in the current environment.

Finland and the IAEA

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto met with the Chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to discuss the situation in Ukraine and non-proliferation issues around European security. In addition, both dignitaries discussed Finland's strong support of IAEA's work on CancerCare4All and gender initiatives.