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Cablegate: Ambassador Barrett Meets with Finnish State

VZCZCXYZ0013
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHHE #0292 1781516
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261516Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4399

C O N F I D E N T I A L HELSINKI 000292

SIPDIS

STATE FOR RPM/GROBBINS
STATE/FOR EUR/NB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/24/2018
TAGS: PREL ASEC KGHG ENRG KIPR ETRD FI
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR BARRETT MEETS WITH FINNISH STATE
SECRETARY VOLANEN

Classified By: Ambassador Barbara Barrett for reasons 1.4(b) and (d).

1. (SBU) During Ambassador Barrett's June 13 courtesy
call on Risto Volanen, State Secretary in the Prime
Minister's Office, Volanen explained his duties as Chief-
of-Staff for the Prime Minister. He invited Ambassador
Barrett to bring issues to his attention that require
emphasis or demand immediate attention. Volanen also
described his role as structural coordinator of Finland's
crisis management system. The Ambassador expressed
appreciation for the Embassy's relationship with his
office and for Finland's efforts as a counterterrorism
partner. They agreed that the strong bilateral
relationship is a well established tradition, and in
Volanen's words, easy to continue, difficult to make
better.

2. (C) Volanen described the US-NATO presence as a
"stabilizing factor" in the Baltic. He stated that there
have been no successful concrete terrorist efforts in
Finland; the GOF is aware of and have not underestimated
the problem. Volanen deferred deeper OSCE discussions
and climate and energy discussions to their respective
ministers, but noted that the Prime Minister is
personally interested in climate issues and has had the
ministers study fundamentals in special sessions so that
they understand the technically and economically
complicated underlying facts. Ambassador Barrett raised
the current pharmaceutical patent issue within the
context of intellectual property rights, innovation,
technology and the recent Millennium Prize awarded in
Finland. Volanen replied that the Prime Minister had
taken it under consideration, that he had "no news" but
would find out where it stood. (During a June 18
discussion with the DCM, Volanen said that he had no
authority to address our concerns, but that he "had
gotten" the Ambassador's message.)

3. (C) Comment: Volanen serves as the prime minister's
gatekeeper but is rarely in the public eye. He noted
that he is politically tied to the fate of Prime Minister
Vanhanen. The remark on the US-NATO presence in the
Baltic is unchanged from a February 2005 Volanen remark
quoted as part of a Helsingin Sanomat commentary, a
commentary which suggested that Finland was a "NATO
stowaway". End comment.

BARRETT

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