HS: Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland, demands a ban on NATO’s energy imports to Russia

The Governor of the Bank of , Olli Rehn, has demanded that Finland join NATO with a similar arrangement as its northern neighbor, . He also said that the European Union should prepare to ban energy imports from , even if it causes problems for Germany and Eastern European countries.

Rehn commented on the issue in an interview published at Helsingin Sanomat on Sundayth birthday.

“A defense alliance based on the Norwegian model would be a sensible option for Finland." said Rehn. "This would mean that no nuclear weapons or permanent NATO bases would be deployed in Finland. Such a defense model would not threaten anyone, and with rational thinking, this should be understood under Russian leadership as well. “

Rehn called for Finland’s accession to NATO for the first time in an article published in the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine in 1994, in which he mentioned "powder keg". At the time, Rehn was an associate professor of political science at the University of Helsinki and a for the Center Party.

The EU should stop funding Putin’s “war machine”

In an interview, Rehn said the EU should gradually stop importing energy to limit Russia’s foreign income and Putin’s funding. "war machine".

He noted that EU energy imports from Russia this year are projected to be around € 600 billion at current prices, three times more than in 2020.

"Rising energy prices are directly reducing the purchasing power of European consumers, and this EUR 600 billion represents 4% of EU GDP." the central banker said.

Rehn’s term as Governor of the Bank of Finland ends in 2025. In an interview, he declined to say whether he would run for a second term at the central bank or possibly run for the center in the 2024 presidential election.

Long history with Russian energy

Rehn spent a decade at the European Commission and held a heavy portfolio of economic and monetary affairs from 2010 to 2014.

After that, Rehn served as Minister of Economic Affairs in 2015 until 2016, when he joined the Board of the Bank of Finland.

As Minister of Economic Affairs, Rehn praised the surprising decision of the state-owned energy company to become a partner of the Russian state-owned company Rosatom at the proposed nuclear power plant.

After months of refusing to do so, Fortum did – apparently reluctantly – in August 2015, shortly after Rehn visited . He denied that he had pressured the company to save a company it considered crucial to Russia.

Rehn later admitted that the project was on the verge of collapse because it had not received the domestic or EU / EEA ownership required by law.

This followed the withdrawal of the German company and the rejection of Rehn from an offer of ownership of a obscure Croatian company, which was revealed to be a shell company for Russian investors. Russia was then subject to EU sanctions for Ukraine’s accession to the .

The plant has still not been granted a building permit. Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the current Minister of Mika Lintilä (Cen) stated that he would not take the project forward.

Source: The Nordic Page

Related Posts