Category Archives: Media

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s interview in Czech for

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, 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)

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.

Ilmastonmuutos muuttaa Euroopan suhdetta ydinvoimaan, ja se kelpaa venäläisjätti Rosatomille

Yle published an article “Ilmastonmuutos muuttaa Euroopan suhdetta ydinvoimaan, ja se kelpaa venäläisjätti Rosatomille” (“Climate change is changing Europe’s attitude towards nuclear power, and it is good for the Russian giant Rosatom”) on 3d of March. The article contents an interview with Rosatom’s First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business Kirill Komarov and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s comments given to the Ulkopopolitiikka in 2015. Professor Tynkkynen

estimates that Rosatom’s trump card is its status as a state-owned company.

“Rosatom can even sell nuclear power at a loss. Economically, such an actor is, of course, in the best interests of its private-owned competitors”

The new article can be read at Yle website.

Interview with the authors of the “China in the Arctic; and the Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese-Finnish Arctic Co-operation” report.

The authors of the report “China in the Arctic; and the Opportunities and Challenges for Chinese-Finnish Arctic Co-operation” discussed their work in an interview with Kathrin Stephen From “High North News”. Sanna Kopra, one of the authors, talked, among other things, about what she thinks of the China’s role as a climate leader:

After President Trump announced to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, the world has hoped for China to step up and fulfill the leadership vacuum in international climate politics left by the US. Although President Xi Jinping has responded positively to these expectations and China has strong domestic incentives to take the findings of the recent IPCC report very seriously, it has not demonstrated any kind of climate leadership role in the Arctic. In my view, taking a stronger leadership role in international efforts to tackle climate change would not be a big sacrifice for China. Conversely, such a leadership role would support China’s national interests and alleviate various China threat theories at the global level. When it comes to the Arctic, China’s stronger commitment to tackle climate change would probably improve the state’s image and generate trust amongst the Arctic states. This would, in turn, help China to legitimize its stronger engagement in Arctic regional affairs.

The full interview can be read at the “High North News” website.

Sanna Kopra and the quest to understand China’s climate politics and Arctic agenda

Finnish China Law Center blog posted an interview with Sanna Kopra by Tatjaana Heikkinen. In the interview Sanna tells about her previous research on China, her current project and future plans.

Global warming and climate change is a topic that we see and hear about on a regular basis. When discussing climate change, it is impossible not to mention China. Sanna Kopra is a post-doctoral researcher in the Arctic Centre located in the University of Laplandand a visiting scholar in the Aleksanteri Institute located in the University of Helsinki and she has conducted extensive research into China in relation to climate change.

When asked about her 2018 highlights, her response is immediate: publishing her first book and receiving a grant from the Academy of Finland. 2019 has also started memorably, as she is spending the first couple of months on a research exchange at the University of Tromsø in Norway. “I hope to learn a lot about Arctic politics and I look forward to meeting new people. I also wish to see amazing scenery – despite the polar night!”

Learn more about Sanna Kopra at the Finnish China Law Center blog.

Karoliina Hurri’s blog entry for the website of Tiina and Antti Herlin foundation

Karoliina Hurri wrote a blog entry for the website of Tiina and Antti Herlin foundation about the Katowice Climate Change Conference, that she attended in December.

UN Climate Conference was held in Katowice, Poland, on 3–14. December 2018 The meeting provided the last opportunity for the parties to agree on the rules of the Paris Agreement. For the researcher of politics of global warming, the meeting provided a dream box seat at the core of the climate debate. The atmosphere in Katowice was optimistic but also pressing and slightly anguished.

The full version of report is available online in Finnish.

The Barents Observer article with Dmitry Yagodin’s interview

Atle Staalesen, journalist and Director of the Independent Barents Observer, wrote an article “Under surface of Russia’s Arctic super-region is looming disaster” about the “Arctic Media World” congress that took place last December in Salekhard. Our postdoctoral researcher Dmitry Yagodin also attended the congress and was interviewed by Staalesen about the perception of Russians of climate change:

According to Dmitry Yagodin, a postdoctoral researcher at the Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki, there are clear indications that a growing number Russians actually believe that climate change is a natural phenomenon.
He refers to the VCIOM study from 2017 and compares it with data from 2007. In the course of the ten year period, the number of respondents that said the changes are man-made had dropped from 59 percent to 55 percent. Similarly, 30 percent of respondents in the first study said climate change is part of a natural cycle, while in the latter, the number had increased to 35 percent.
«Contrary to expectations, there are today more people that are convinced about natural causes behind climate change,» Yagodin says to the Barents Observer.

In summer 2018 Yagodin spent weeks in the Yamal-Nenets region to get better understanding of local perceptions of climate change. He found a local research community that is actively studying the problem. But little public attention from the regional political establishment.
Yagodin’s key focus is the media and he believes journalists must take part of the blame. He has looked closely at the Russian media discourse since 2005 and found that the number of stories about climate change went up until year 2010. After that, there was a decline of attention.
«There has simply been a decline in interest,» he says. He has no clear answers, but sees a corresponding pattern in the Russian political discourse «If you look at statements from political leaders you see that there has been a turn from the international focus under President Dmitry Medvedev and till today.»
«The image of being a responsible player has changed,» he says.

The full version of the article is available online.

Sanna Kopra on Finnish delegation’s visit to China this week

Sanna Kopra’s comments on the meetings of the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and the President of China Xi Jinping in China this week were published today in Kauppalehti. The article “Suomalaisyritykset aikovat talviurheilulla Kiinan käyttöön – Yritysdelegaatio matkaa Niinistön vanavedessä” (Finnish companies intend to use China for winter sports – Business delegation’s visit in the wake of Niinistö’s).

President Sauli Niinistö’s visit to China has a high-level seminar on climate change in its programme. According to Kopra, it is interesting whether Niinistö raises black coal issue, which heats up the Arctic in particular. Niinistö has stressed the issue earlier.

Read the article online here.

Kiina hiipii tunturiin

Helsingin Sanomat published an excellent longread “Kiina hiipii tunturiin” (China sneaks into fell) with loads of infographics, that delves into China’s Arctic policy and its activity in Lapland and Finland in general.

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was interviewed for the article:

“China’s strategy is that it pursues increasing political influence internationally through economic influence. After all, it is clear that China, which invests heavily in Finland and brings tourists there, also has an economical leverage on Finland. This may, for example, affect how Finland may speak internationally about China. “

Read the article online here.

Karoliina Hurri for Dagens Nyheter

Largest Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter published an article about the  Katowice Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 24) on Saturday, 15 of December. The article is titled “Kina redo att gå i täten för miljön – men inte utan en stark partner” (China ready to be environmental leader – but not without a strong partner).

Karoliina Hurri, PhD student from our team, was interviewed for the article. Karoliina attended the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland last week and  she specialises in the China’s role in the global climate governance. Her interview in Swedish can be read online here.

Yle’s new article “Kremlin sisäpiiriläisiä vai onnekkaita yrittäjiä? Näin tuntematon suomalaiskaksikko hoitaa rikkaiden venäläisten bisneksiä”

Yle published a new article “Kremlin sisäpiiriläisiä vai onnekkaita yrittäjiä? Näin tuntematon suomalaiskaksikko hoitaa rikkaiden venäläisten bisneksiä” (Kremlin insiders or lucky entrepreneurs? This is how unknown Finnish duo manages rich Russian businesses), which has Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s interview in it.

The article is investigating who are the Finnish citizens Svetlana Kotiranta and Juri Tikhomirov, whom the Russian state trusts in their businesses.

– The fact that this duo of Russian Finns has been involved in the energy trade – and even the one with the Russian state-owned company Gazprom – tells that they are not just straw men Only the carefully selected insiders are allowed to benefit from  the energy trade flows, says a Russian energy sector specialist Tynkkynen.

Read the full article online here.