Category Archives: Media

Sakari Höysniemi’s book recommendation

Our group not only produces research, but is also gladly recommending works of other experts to read. In the latest Yliopisto-lehti issue column “Tutkija suosittelee” (Researcher recommends), doctoral student Sakari Höysniemi is talking about Timothy Mitchell’s book “Carbon Democracy. Political Power in the Age of Oil” (Verso Books, 2011).

– A lot of things happen to oil before the gasoline niftily comes out at filling station. Carbon Democracy can and should be read, even if you do not know Bruno Latour, Michel Callon and Actor-network theory.

You can read the full issue online.

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen on Russian landfill protests and Ivan Golunov’s arrest

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen participated yesterday in the Yle’s A-studio programme, where the topic of the discussion was “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää” (Russian landfill protests challenge the political system).

Professor Tynkkynen and other guests – correspondent Marjo Näkki and secretary of the Finnish Section of Reporters without borders Jarmo Koponen, discussed, first, the arrest of Ivan Golunov, a prominent Russian journalist investigating and exposing corruption among Moscow officials, who wrote, among other things, about waste management problems in the region.

The central theme of the programme was Russian corruption in waste management, landfill crisis and the protests around it in Moscow and Arkhangelsk regions.

The topic was further developed in Yle’s article “Venäjän kaatopaikkaprotestit haastavat poliittista järjestelmää yhä suoremmin – mielenilmaukset ovat levinneet jo Putinin tukialueille” (Russian landfill protests increasingly challenge the political system – protests have spread to Putin’s strongholds).

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies, Aleksanteri Institute, estimates that the protests are already threatening the establishment.

– The demonstrations in Moscow and Arkhangelsk are not just local protests, but through them they protest against the whole system. The fact that the whole system is based on the oligarchy. <…>

Environmental demonstrations are of particular interest because they had their own role in the break-up of the Soviet Union, reminds Associate Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. <….> In the early 1990s, environmental issues were one of the key themes of demonstrations, especially in the Baltic countries.

Like many other issues in Russia, the waste problem is facilitated by the corruption. According to Professor Tynkkynen,

<.. the waste business in Russia is a mafia corrupt activity, where the waste business is run by business conglomerates connected to local administration. They get good income from the municipalities but do not follow any standards. These practices are difficult to break even if Putin says something.

Full version of the article is available online.

The Helsinki shipyard was purchased by a trusted associate of the Kremlin – Putin exercises power also through oligarchs

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen commented on recent purchase of the Helsinki shipyard by Russian businessman Vladimir Kasyanenko for Yle’s new article “Helsingin telakka päätyi Kremlin luottomiehen omistukseen – “Putin käyttää valtaa myös oligarkkien kautta”, sanoo tutkija” (The Helsinki shipyard was purchased by a trusted associate of the Kremlin – Putin exercises power also through oligarchs).

The new main owner of the Helsinki shipyard, Vladimir Kasyanenko, is a Russian businessman unknown to Finns. He has a home in Monaco, a cottage in Miehikkälä, a Belgian passport and a long business career together with a man working in Putin’s administration. Now he owns a shipyard in the middle of Helsinki, which makes important to Russia ships.

According to Professor Tynkkynen, this shipyard is directly linked to the strategic line of the Russian government, as it constructs not only cruise-ships, but also ice-breaking tankers for the Northeast Passage, support vessels for Arctic oil drilling and a new generation of more environmentally friendly icebreakers. And the development of Arctic region with its vast resources is crucially important for Russia.

According to Tynkkynen, Vladimir Putin’s administration is “chronically dependent on energy revenues”. This is why the Kremlin is particularly attentive to energy-related holdings and investments – including operators like the Helsinki shipyard.

Tynkkynen is not surprised by the results of MOT’s report that the new owner of the Helsinki shipyard has a link with Putin’s administration.

– In the shipyard case, the issue that is often overlooked is excellently brought to the front. If we consider how the power of the Putin regime is exercised, it is not only done through state-owned companies. It also includes a large network of Russian oligarchs that are either obliged or forced to invest in sectors that are central to Putin’s governance.

– Or, then, they act on their own initiative, driving their own interests, so that they will continue to enjoy good deals, Tynkkynen says.

The full article is available online.

Sanna Kopra – Arctic Centre’s Face of the Month

Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, chose Dr. Sanna Kopra as their new Face of the Month. In the article, published on their website, you can get to know Sanna better both as a person and as a researcher:

Sanna Kopra Helsingissä 15.05. 2019. Compic/Kimmo Brandt

Sanna Kopra is researching China’s climate policy and Arctic policy. As a researcher, she is motivated by environmental concerns and the pursuit of social justice.

Kopra spent the first months of the year in Tromsø. By the sea, embraced by the mountains, she really felt that she was in an Arctic city. She has not captured the same feeling in Rovaniemi.

– Perhaps Rovaniemi is so familiar that it doesn’t feel like an Arctic city, Kopra reflects.

During her studies, Kopra lived in Rovaniemi for many years and has often returned to the city. Since last autumn, she has worked in the Arctic Centre with The rise of China and normative transformation in the Arctic region – a research project funded by the Academy of Finland. 

Kopra lives in Mäntsälä countryside with her family, dogs and chickens. She works mostly at home, but travels to the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki a couple of times a week. She works there as a visiting researcher and shares an office with her colleagues.

– It is important to be part of a work community also physically, not only remotely. 

 

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen interviewed for Kauppalehti article

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was interviewed for the “Euroopan ja Venäjän kaasukiistan ainekset alkavat olla kasassa – Venäjä voittaa ja maakaasun hinta uhkaa raketoida” (European and Russian gas dispute is beginning to pile up – Russia is winning and the price of natural gas threatens to rocket), article, published today at Kauppalehti.

Commenting on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, Professor Tynkkynen said:

If Denmark does not give permission to the pipeline project and the United States will implement its threat of sanctions, Germany will be angry with the United States, further weakening the relationship across the Atlantic. In that situation, Russia would surely use its gas pipelines going through Ukraine to put pressure on the pipeline project.

Read the full version of the article online.

Article with commentary by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen on Nord Stream 2 project and its realisation published in Lännen media

A new article citing Professor Tynkkynen “EU ostaa liian lepsusti energiaa Venäjältä – Tutkija: EU-maiden pitäisi käyttää enemmän valtaansa ja asettaa tiukemmat ehdot energian hankkimiseksi” (The EU is buying energy carelessly from Russia – Researcher: EU countries should use more power and impose stricter terms for energy acquisition) was published in Lännen media newsroom.

The United States have once again announced their intention to put the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project on its sanction list. According to the criticism, Germany and Europe are becoming “prisoners” of Russia, as countries’ dependence on energy imported from Russia increases.

– Trump’s attention is in the right direction, but the means to reduce the dependency are wrong. The answer should be a stronger EU common energy policy, but Trump cannot propose that, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor in Russian Environmental Studies at the University of Helsinki.

The article is written by Mina Akimo and can be read in Turun Sanomat, Kaleva, Satakunnan Kansa, and other newspapers of the production company.

Professor Tynkkynen interviewed for the new article published in Kaleva

Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for the new article “Kaleva-gallup: Enemmistö pitää Fennovoiman ve­nä­läi­so­mis­tus­ta tur­val­li­suusuh­ka­na – Tutkija: “Määrä on suuri, jopa huomattava” (Kaleva-Gallup: The majority considers Fennovoima’s Russian ownership as a security threat – Scientist: “The amount is large, even remarkable”) published in Kaleva newspaper this Monday, 6th of May.

The article shares results of the recent Kaleva Gallup, according to which 62 per cent of respondents living in Northern Finland believe that the Russians’ share in Finnish Fennovoima nuclear power plant project is a certain security threat. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the results of the poll and the meaning of Fennovoima project and nuclear power for Finland. Read his opinion on the issue in the full version of the article.

Guest column at The Ulkopolitist

Sanna Kopra, together with Tiina Vaittinen, Mikko Räkköläinen and other members of the board of Finnish Peace Research Association,  wrote a guest column “Suomi profiloituu konfliktinratkaisun suurmaana, mutta rauhantyöstä on leikattu viime vuosina tuntuvasti – Kuinka käy ensi vaalikaudella? Puolueet vastasivat 3 kysymykseen” (Finland is expertising as a major conflict resolution state, but peace work has been severely cut in recent years – How will it be in the next parliamentary term? The parties answered 3 questions) for The Ulkopolitist.

As the issues of peace work have been left out of the election debates, the author of the column asked major parties’ leaders and representatives 3 questions: 1) How high do you think  peace and conflict research and peace mediation should be in the Finnish foreign policy priority list during the next parliamentary term? 2) What is your party ready to do in order to preserve the peace expertise and conflict research in Finland in the future? 3) What do you think are the biggest challenges for peace mediation at the moment and how will your party respond to them during the next term?

With elections coming already this Sunday, the column is of special interest for the voters. You can read the guest column on The Ulkopolitist website.

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s interview in Czech for Info.cz

Last week Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen visited Prague to give a lecture at the Institute of International Affairs. During his stay in Czech Republic, Professor Tynkkynen also gave an interview for Info.cz, which is now published in the article “Jak oslabit Putinův režim? Musíme Rusko donutit k přechodu na obnovitelné zdroje, říká expert” (How to weaken Putin’s regime? We have to force Russia to move to renewables, says the expert)

Info.cz

Russian Rosatom is not an energy company, it’s like a ministry, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen from the University of Helsinki. Therefore, the energy and environment expert would definitely not recommend entrusting Temelín* to this company. He came to Prague at the invitation of the Institute of International Relations.

* Temelín is a nuclear power station in Czech Republic.

The interview can be read in Czech online.