EU discusses Arctic issues in northern Finland

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-16 05:26:16|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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HELSINKI, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The EU Commissioner responsible for Arctic policies, Karmenu Vella, on Thursday underlined the impact of Arctic development for the whole world.

Vella spoke at the opening of the first ever EU Arctic Forum in Oulu, Northern Finland. Vella noted that the Arctic region keeps warming at twice the speed the rest of the globe, local Oulu newspaper Kaleva reported.

Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said the Arctic region needs growth, but "in a responsible way".

Both Vella and Soini described the decision of U.S. President Donald Trump to disengage from the Paris climate accords as a great disappointment. Soini said that he would like to appeal to Trump on the grounds that "protecting the Arctic is a good business".

Vella said that the European Union is now more united in relation to the Paris climate accords. "They are not negotiable", she said. "For us the planet continues to be the first in the order of importance", she underlined.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila held talks in Oulu with the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini about the developmemnt of the joint defence and security policies of the EU. Mogherini thanked Finland for being active in the EU defence cooperation and its development.

Talking to the media in Oulu, Sipila described the Finnish approach as ambitious. Finland hopes that progress will be made in "permanent structural cooperation".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is also attending the EU Forum in Oulu. The EU Arctic Forum continues on Friday.