Category Archives: Media

Som liten kille lekte han på gatorna i Moskva, nu forskar han i hur ryska makthavare tänker i energifrågor

A big interview with Professor Tynkkynen was published Svenska Yle. The article and the interview itself are both in Swedish – Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen aims to speak all languages of FInland’s neighbours. The interview tells about his love for languages, new book “The Energy of Russia”, Russian energy and foreign policy, and many other things that Professor Tynkkynen is interested in. Read the interview online on Yle website.

Additionally, you can here to the part of the interview in radio programme Aktuellt, it starts around 25th minute.

Rusko posiluje partnerství s Čínou. Obě země spojil obří plynovod za 55 miliard dolarů

A Czech news portal published an article “Rusko posiluje partnerství s Čínou. Obě země spojil obří plynovod za 55 miliard dolarů”  (Russia is strengthening its partnership with China.  A giant $ 55 billion gas pipeline has joined two countries), for which Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provided comments.

“Russia is still dependent on the EU market. I think that the development of the oil and gas market, especially competition from LNG and renewable energies, has a greater effect on prices than the sale of discounted Russian gas to China,” According to him, the Power of Siberia is symbolically important for Russia – it can now be argued that Europe is no longer the main market for it. “It’s important for both domestic and foreign audiences,” Tynkkynen adds.

The article in Czech can be found online from here.

Fortum builds Russia’s largest wind farm

Professor Tynkkynen provided comments for Yle’s new article “Fortum rakentaa Venäjän suurinta tuulipuistoa – Turbiineja arvostellaan Putinia myöten: “Ne värähtelevät niin, että madot ryömivät maasta“. Venäjä kehittää tuuli- ja aurinkovoimaa. Se ei kuitenkaan aio irtautua fossiilisesta energiasta” (Fortum builds Russia’s largest wind farm – Turbines were criticized by Putin: “They vibrate so that worms crawl out of the ground”. Russia is developing wind and solar power. However, it does not intend to break away from fossil energy.)

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor of Russian Environmental Studies at the University of Helsinki, does not believe that Russia’s current leadership wants to, or even can, move away from fossil fuels.

– Putin’s administration is clinging to hydrocarbons. Their role in the economy and society in general is too big, says Tynkkynen, referring to the role of the traditional energy sector in the country’s power structures and in building the nation’s identity.

Read full article on Yle website.

Suomen kaasumarkkina avautuu ja kaasu alkaa virrata Viron ja Suomen välillä – Vaikutus: hinta laskee, huoltovarmuus paranee, riippuvuus Venäjästä vähenee

Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provided comments for the new newspaper article “Suomen kaasumarkkina avautuu ja kaasu alkaa virrata Viron ja Suomen välillä – Vaikutus: hinta laskee, huoltovarmuus paranee, riippuvuus Venäjästä vähenee” (“Finnish gas market opens and gas starts to flow between Estonia and Finland – Impact: price falls, security of supply improves, dependence on Russia decreases”).

So far, Finland has been almost completely dependent on Russian natural gas, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Assistant Professor of Russian Environmental Policy at the Aleksanteri Institute.

– The gas pipeline from Estonia will allow competitive tendering, which is likely to affect Russian gas pricing as well. The market price is expected to fall by at least a few percent, but the impact may be greater, Tynkkynen estimates.

The article can be read in Finnish or Russian online.

EU:n riippuvuus venäläisestä fosfaatista kasvaa – ”Johtoryhmällä tiukat kytkökset Putinin hallintoon”

Talouselämä published a new article EU:n riippuvuus venäläisestä fosfaatista kasvaa – ”Johtoryhmällä tiukat kytkökset Putinin hallintoon” (EU dependence on Russian phosphate grows – ‘Senior management group has strong ties to Putin’s administration’) with Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s comments in it.

“In Brussels, we imagine that the EU is a united player. However, it does not have a common voice on issues related to strategic natural and energy resources,” says Tynkkynen.

Read the full article on the newspaper’s website.

Article in Helsingin Sanomat on natural gas leekage role in climate change

“Maakaasussa on vuoto-ongelma, joka uhkaa tehdä ilmaston­muutoksen torjunnasta entistä vaikeampaa – ”Jos venäläisiltä kysyy, kaikki on kunnossa”” (There is a leakage problem with natural gas that threatens to make the fight against climate change more difficult – “If you ask Russians, everything is fine”) article was published in Helsingin Sanomat in the end of August, and Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for it. While natural gas helps to combat climate change – “increased natural gas combustion saved some 2.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2000 and 2017”, yet the leakage of methane during the gas extraction process increases the greenhouse effect significantly. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the issue and added, that when Europeans are buying Russian natural gas, they do not have a clear understanding of the accompanying gas-leakage during transportation and production. The Russians say that everything is fine and do not report anything about the leakages.

The full article can be read online.

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.