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Report: Shift in Russia's foreign policy, Finland to focus on resilience and cooperation

Government Communications Department
Publication date 30.8.2016 10.08
Press release 347/2016

Based on a recent report published by an expert group of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, Russia is using more aggressive measures to achieve its foreign policy objectives. For Finland, Russia's changing behaviour calls for a new type of preparedness, to which end the report provides a detailed risk analysis and recommended measures.

The report on Russia's changing role in Finland's neighbourhood examines the shift in Russia's foreign policy and evaluates the implications of this shift from Finland's perspective.

Russia’s governing system, which is based on unofficial power networks, is closely intertwined with the country’s  foreign policy. Russia's foreign policy goals have remained the same for a long period of time, but the means to achieve those goals have become more aggressive in recent years, the report observes.

In particular, the report analyses the implications of Russia's changing behaviour in Finland's neighbourhood vis-à-vis energy policy, Arctic policy and Baltic Sea security policy. In energy policy, a geoeconomic operation that creates dependencies can be recognised; in the Arctic region, security aspects have gained more weight in Russia's policies; and in the Baltic Sea region, risk potential has been activated. The report lists the key risks caused by Russia's changing behaviour and gives Finland practical policy recommendations to prepare itself for those risks. Neighbouring an internally unpredictable Russia that creates international tensions, Finland needs first and foremost to invest in its own society's resilience and in international cooperation.

This report is part of the implementation of the 2015 Government plan for analysis, assessment and research.

The report on Russia's changing role in Finland's neighbourhood (in Finnish)

Further information about the Government’s analysis, assessment and research at

Inquiries: Toivo Martikainen, Research Coordinator, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, tel. +358 9 432 7724; Katri Pynnöniemi, Senior Research Fellow, Finnish Institute of International Affairs, tel. +358 9 432 7754 and Sinikukka Saari, Special Adviser, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 883