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The Finnish-Russian media conference, “Broken Mirrors,” will open on 3 December 2012 in the main building of the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki. The conference is being organised in cooperation with the Parliament’s Russia Friendship Group.
The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum wishes to extend its warm welcome to all participants at the conference and a special thanks to the event’s sponsors. For those not able to attend the event, we will be tweeting and facebooking the conference.
The Finnish-Russian media conference, “Broken Mirrors,” will be held in the Auditorium of the Finnish Parliament on 3-4 December 2012. The conference will discuss two main themes: Russia’s and Finland’s image in the media, and the question of visa-free travel between the EU and Russia. The organisers note that such a meeting of Finnish and Russian journalists has not been held since the middle of the 1990s.
The conference will be organised by the Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM), the Finland-Russia Society, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, the Union of Journalists in Finland, the Finnish online newspaper Uusi Suomi, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, and the Russian Union of Journalists, the Union of Journalists in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast, and the Russian news agency, ITAR-TASS.
A group of leading members of the Finnish Parliament, spearheaded by the National Coalition Party’s MP, Pia Kauma, submitted a written question to the government on the question of sanctions against Russian officials involved in the murder of the Russian lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky. So far, the United States and the Netherlands have imposed visa bans on the officials. Moreover, the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have urged member states to freeze the assets of the officials involved and impose international visa bans.
A Cuban architect was forced to spend 47 days on a ferry cruising between St Petersburg and Helsinki. Luis Vladimir Vega Cespedes, a 41-year old Cuban, was stuck in no-man’s land because of two minor violations of Russian migration legislation, while he was unable to enter Finland because his Schengen visa had expired.
Removing the visa requirement for travel between the European Union and Russia would bring millions of new visitors from Russia to Finland, according to a report compiled the Finnish Customs, the Finnish Border Guard, and the Finnish Police. The report estimates that traffic on Finland’s eastern border would increase from the current 8 million to around 15 million border crossings per year, Helsingin Sanomat reports.
Finland expects to receive a record number of Russian tourists in summer 2011. “Russia’s GDP growth was 4% in 2010 and is expected to reach 4.5% in 2011. This can be seen in traffic, tourism, and shopping tours,” Finland’s ambassador to Moscow, Matti Anttonen, says.
The number of trips Russians made abroad increased by more than 30% in 2010. The most popular destination was Finland, with 3.3 million visits by Russian tourists. Turkey came in second with around 3 million visits, and Egypt was third with around 2.5 million visits in 2010.