The talks concerning finalising the Russian-Finnish agreement on the protection of investments have stalled. This is according to the Prime Ministers, Mikhail Kasyanov of Russia and Paavo Lipponen of Finland. The parties are thinking the situation over before Finland discusses it with the other member countries of the European Union about to sign similar agreements with Russia. According to the Finnish STT news agency, the date when the agreement may be signed remains unclear.
The agreement in question was initially supposed to be signed in May this year during the visit to St. Petersburg of Mrs. Tarii Halonen, the President of Finland. Yet after Russia had suggested a number of amendments, the signing of the agreement was delayed indefinitely. Mr. Lipponen said, 'Now we have entered an intermission so we can consider the situation'. The Prime Minister said Finland was not after any special breaks and the matter concerned the overall standards of the European Union.
The issue of the mutual protection of investments will be discussed during the summit of the European Union in Seville, in the end of this June. Besides Finland, Spain, Austria, and Belgium would like to sign investments protection agreements with Russia. The Finnish Prime Minister said he would abstain from any forecasts as to how long the settling of the problems might take.