On Friday 5 April, Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen and Minister of the EnvironmentVille Niinistö will attend the Conference of the Heads of Government of the Baltic Sea States on Environmental Protection (also called the Baltic Sea Summit) in St Petersburg. The Conference follows up on the Baltic Sea Action Summit organised in Finland in 2010. The Conference will focus on the protection of the marine environment of the Baltic Sea. From Finland, President of the Republic Tarja Halonen has also been invited to speak at the Conference.
The Baltic Sea Summit will be hosted by Prime Minister of the Russian FederationDmitri Medvedev. In addition to Finland, representatives will arrive from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany and Poland. The Summit makes part of the programme of the Russian Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
In addition to the conference programme, Prime Minister Katainen will have bilateral talks with Prime Minister Medvedev.
Minister Niinistö will also attend the Forum on Public-Private Partnership in the Baltic Sea Region on Saturday 6 April. Invited participants include environment ministers, representatives of businesses and non-governmental organisations, and researchers.
Baltic Sea Action Summit (BSAS) process launched by Finland aims primarily to speed up the implementation of the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. It also focuses on deepening cooperation between public and private actors to improve the state of the Baltic Sea environment. Thanks to the BSAS process, more than 200 Baltic Sea commitments have been made so far, 11 of which by sovereign states. The Conference of the Heads of Government of the Baltic Sea States on 5 April is to adopt a joint statement highlighting the importance of the Baltic Sea environmental efforts of all actors and supporting the continuation of the Baltic Sea Action Summit process.
Finland will assume the one-year CBSS Presidency after Russia in July 2013.
Inquiries: Antti Vänskä, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister (International Affairs), tel. +358 40 513 1458
Lasse Miettinen, Special Adviser to Minister Niinistö, tel.+358 40 507 6100
and Kari Mokko, Director of Government Communications, tel.+358 40 751 3281