Minister Väyrynen and President Minnihanov hoped for increased contacts and cooperation between Finland and Tatarstan
“We are interested in everything here,” said President Rustam Minnihanov of Tatarstan, who is currently in Finland on a working visit and met on Thursday with Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Paavo Väyrynen. In particular, Tatarstan has taken notice of Finland’s high technology, innovations, energy efficiency and high-quality education.
Minister Väyrynen and President Minnihanov both expressed the wish that there would soon be a direct airline route between Helsinki and Kazan, to facilitate economic and trade cooperation as well as tourism. Thanks in particular to its oil and natural gas production and refining and its chemicals industry, Tatarstan is one of the Russian Federation’s regions of rapid growth. Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, will organise the Universiade in 2013 and in 2018 it will be one of the host cities for the FIFA World Cup.
Minister Väyrynen visited Kazan together with a business delegation in February 2010 and again in connection with President Halonen’s State visit in November. “These visits have given a strong impulse to the development of our relations. Our successful cooperation can be strengthened further, and that is why we have arrived with a large delegation,” President Minnihanov stated. Accompanying the President to Finland were over 50 representatives of the Republic’s administrative, business and education sectors.
Cooperation between Finland and Tatarstan has been developed since the 1990s, for instance, in the regional working group within the Economic Commission, whose work is supported by both Minister Väyrynen and President Minnihanov. “The work of the regional working groups has been carried out in a good spirit of partnership,” said Minister Väyrynen. “Their efforts have resulted in valuable direct contacts with the business sector and administration. We have a special relationship with Tatarstan, and the Tatar community of Finland has played a significant role in its creation.”