Finland and Sweden remain cautious on the idea of bilateral discussions with Russia on security in the Baltic Sea. The idea for such discussions came from Russia in early August, but it remains unclear what exactly Russia might have in mind.




The original idea was first proposed by Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister, Anatoly Antonov, but no official invites were initially issued.


Until the precise format of these discussions is known, Finland and Sweden remain sceptical. That’s the view of Foreign Minister Timo Soini, as expressed during a visit to Sweden to meet his counterpart Margot Wallström.


Those discussions should include a broader spectrum of countries from the Baltic Sea region, according to both countries’ Foreign Ministers.


“I think in general these kinds of contacts and negotiations should be on a wider scale,” said Soini. “I don’t think it’s feasible for there to be discussions between two countries on these issues.”


“Above all we’ll discuss with other countries who received invites and decide what this is all about,” said Wallström. “We won’t allow a wedge to be driven between countries.”