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18 Apr 2019

New office of Finland’s embassy opens in Minsk

New office of Finland’s embassy opens in Minsk

MINSK, 18 April (BelTA) – A new office of the Finnish embassy in Belarus opened in Minsk on 18 April, BelTA has learned.

The office is located in 11 Svobody Square. The building is also home to the foreign offices of France, Bulgaria and Switzerland. Attending the event were Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko, Under Secretary of State for External Economic Relations at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Markku Keinanen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Finland to Lithuania with concurrent accreditation to Belarus Christer Michelsson and head of the office of the Finnish embassy in Minsk Janne Heiskanen. The event was also attended by heads and representatives of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Belarus.

Markku Keinanen noted that the opening of the new office of the Finnish embassy in Belarus is a result of long-standing efforts. At first, Finland cooperated with Belarus through Vilnius. Then, in 2010, an office of the Finnish embassy in Lithuania opened in Minsk. It was located at the Embassy of Sweden in Belarus.

“We have a new office today. We hope that it will give an opportunity to step up cooperation between our countries,” the under secretary of state said.

In turn, Oleg Kravchenko stressed that the opening of the new office of the Finnish embassy in Minsk proves the fact that the relations between the countries are becoming stronger and more constructive. “We are united by both certain historical parallels and modern approaches,” he said.

Belarus and Finland established diplomatic relations in February 1992. The Minsk office of the Finnish embassy in Lithuania opened on 1 October 2010. The Belarusian embassy in Helsinki has been operational since 5 December 2011.

The deployment of the Belarusian diplomatic mission served as a catalyst for the intensification of bilateral relations. The ministers of foreign affairs meet on a regular basis. Annual ministerial consultations have been resumed. The parties exchange high-level visits.

Last year, the trade between Belarus and Finland exceeded $127 million. The export of Belarusian goods totaled $18.8 million. Belarus’ main exports included insulated wire, timber, metalware, and women’s knitwear.

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