Finnish Ambassador to Kosovo, Pia Stjernval: “Finland strongly supports Kosovo visa liberalization”

21 November 2019

In the framework of the special lectures for the students of the master’s level of the Faculty of Public Administration, today a lecture was held on the topic of Finland’s foreign policy.

Finnish Ambassador to Kosovo Pia Stjernval began this lecture with the history of Finland. She said that the Finnish people had lived in those lands since ancient times and that their history could be divided into three parts: the time they were part of Sweden, part of Russia, and when they declared independence in 1917.

One of the problems Finland has been facing since 2004 is NATO membership. As Ambassador Pia Stjernwal pointed out: “One issue that is still being considered in Finland is Finland’s membership in NATO, because we are now peace partners with NATO. Since 2004, it has been debated whether we should be part of NATO or not. But public opinion has been that we should not join NATO.”

According to Ambassador Stjernval, Finland as a state, despite its small population, aims to be one of the most powerful countries in the world. To achieve this, they hire the most capable people without being influenced by politics or friendship. “We need to recruit the most capable people in order to achieve victory” the Finnish ambassador said.

When Ambassador Stjernval was asked about Finland’s foreign policy, she first said: “We want to have a functioning relationship with Russia, and this is not always easy. We do not expect them to always be understanding, but it is enough to live together in peace.” On the other hand, Finland has very good relations with the other Scandinavian countries.

She also stressed that the European Union and the United Nations are very important to Finland because we all want world order and that “human rights and equality are some of the key issues that Finland’s foreign policy deals with.”

Finally, she said that “the European Union is stronger if the Balkan states are part of it and that it would help the stability and peace of the region.”

Finland strongly supports Kosovo’s visa liberalization and has worked hard to achieve that goal, although it is still an unrealized process, the Finnish diplomat said.