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Cablegate: Finnish Pm Vanhanen Tells Visiting Eur a/S Jones,

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HELSINKI 001482

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR A/S A.ELIZABETH JONES, EUR/NB, AND EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/18/2014
TAGS: PGOV CASC ETRD EU PHUM PREL SMIG AF IZ TU FI RU
SUBJECT: FINNISH PM VANHANEN TELLS VISITING EUR A/S JONES,
"WE NEED EACH OTHER"


Classified By: APAO HELENE KESSLER FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) and (D)

Summary
-------

1. (C) In a November 9 meeting with Finnish PM Matti
Vanhanen, visiting EUR
A/S Jones reassured the Prime Minister of the importance the
Bush
Administration places on the transatlantic relationship,
citing the President's
references to outreach to Europe and the importance of both
the EU and NATO
in his very first statement after winning re-election. The
Prime Minister
confirmed that he would like to visit the US to discuss the
Finnish EU
presidency. PM Vanhanen said Finland opposes any EU
structured cooperation
on defense that duplicates NATO. An EU rapid response force
is new for Finns
but a natural outgrowth of their experience as peacekeepers.
A/S Jones thanked
the Prime Minister for contributions to Iraq and Afghanistan
and raised the
Rogers child-custody case and IPR. Other issues discussed
included Turkey and
Russia. End Summary.

U.S. Elections
--------------

2. (SBU) PM Vanhanen conveyed congratulations to President
Bush on his
reelection and commented on the high number of individuals
who voted in the
2004 U.S. elections. A/S Jones noted U.S. pride in the large
voter turnout and
high interest in the issues. Vanhanen said that the previous
week's meeting of the
European Council included extensive discussion about the U.S.
elections and the
importance of transatlantic relations.

Iraq/Afghanistan
----------------

3. (SBU) A/S Jones expressed appreciation for Finland's
active role and
contributions in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying Finland should
take great pride in
the success of the historic elections in Afghanistan. On
Iraq, the path to
improving the situation is through the elections at the end
of January. The Iraqis
need the help of the international community to make free and
fair elections a
reality. The generous funding Finland has offered for
protection of a UN
presence in Iraq is important.

Finland's EU Presidency
-----------------------

4. (C) When A/S Jones asked where he would put the emphasis
in the transatlantic
relationship, PM Vanhanen answered that Finland has already
started preparing
for its EU presidency, in the latter half of 2006. Its job
is to lead the EU during
that half year period when the Constitution Treaty is
scheduled to take effect,
working with the EU agenda. While Finland has a "crisis
scenario" for that
period, the Prime Minister stated that "we hope we don't
inherit all of the open
issues," such as the WTO negotiations with the U.S. The EU's
relations with
Russia are very important to Finland, but that question must
be seen in the bigger
picture of EU-U.S.-Russian relations. "We need each other,"
the Prime Minister
emphasized.

EU Defense Cooperation
----------------------

5. (C) PM Vanhanen pointed out that Finland has underlined,
during his Prime
Ministership, that it opposes any EU structured cooperation
on defense that
duplicates NATO's role. "When we build crisis management
capability in
Europe, it must be with good cooperation with NATO and a good
link to the
USA at the same time."

White Paper/EU Rapid Reaction Force
-----------------------------------


6. (C) A/S Jones told the Prime Minister that the USG was
very impressed with
Finland's recently-released White Paper on security policy
and its references to
NATO interoperability. The Prime Minister noted that a new
question for
Finland is how to create a rapid reaction force. Given the
history of Finland's
active role in peacekeeping, it is important to take part in
the ESDP and to start
cooperation in two rapid reaction battle groups (one with
Sweden and Norway, and one with
Germany and the Netherlands). A/S Jones agreed that this is
a formula that all of
us are finding useful.

US-EU Agenda/Turkey
-------------------

7. (C) A/S Jones shared U.S. priorities for the US-EU agenda
including Iraq,
Afghanistan, the Middle East Peace Process and EU
enlargement, which enlarges
stability in this very important part of the world. On
Turkey, she emphasized
that the U.S. wants to be sure that we keep working with
Turkey in parallel with the
EU. The Prime Minister was quite optimistic about prospects
for Turkey's
eventual accession and believed that preparations to start
negotiations have
already encouraged big developments in Turkey. "They are
ready to work hard."
Finland's new EU commissioner Olli Rehn, who used to be
Vanhanen's
assistant, will have the enlargement portfolio. PM Vanhanen
reflected that
Finland is far enough from Turkey that it can be neutral in
this matter. He
stressed that Turkish membership is very important for
Finland. He believed that
when Turkey becomes a member all open questions, such as the
Armenia border
and Cyprus, must be solved at the same time and all parties
understand that.

Russia
------

8. (C) PM Vanhanen agreed with A/S Jones that engagement with
Russia remains
very important. This is especially true for Finland, given
the increasing
importance of bilateral trade (he projected that in 2010
Russia would be
Finland's largest single trade partner). The Prime Minister
said the EU must
hold to a common policy on Russia, and part of that policy
must be to insist that
none of the four "common spaces" is agreed until all are
agreed. A/S Jones
welcomed the EU desire to move on all four issues, and not
just terrorism.

Bilateral Issues: IPR/Rogers/Possible PM Visit
--------------------------------------------- -

9. (C) A/S Jones raised concern that U.S. pharmaceuticals are
being accorded
inadequate intellectual property protection under current
Finnish regulations.
The Prime Minister confirmed that he has the needed
information on this issue.
On the Rogers child custody case, A/S Jones acknowledged
Finland's adherence
to the Hague convention, expressing appreciation that so
much has been done to
resolve the issue. The Prime Minster felt that in these sad
cases too much was in
the press; political decision makers should not take part
since they are questions
for the courts. He stressed that Finland is a signatory to
the Hague convention
and he hoped the issue will be resolved on the basis of the
convention.
10. (SBU) A/S Jones said that as we are just getting
organized for the new
administration, the Department could seek a decision on the
possibility of a visit
to Washington by the Prime Minister. PM Vanhanen confirmed
that he is very
ready and willing to visit the U.S. as part of Finland's
preparations for its
upcoming EU presidency and stressed that Finland wants to be
in close contact
with the U.S. during this time.

11. (U) A/S Jones has cleared this cable.

MACK

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