U.S. ambassador to Iceland draws concerted criticism over retweet of China virus

HELSINKI, July 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. ambassador to Iceland Jeffrey Ross Gunter has provoked anger and criticism in Iceland after he retweeted a post from U.S. President Donald Trump calling COVID-19 "the Invisible China Virus."

"We are United to defeat the Invisible China Virus," wrote Gunter last week on his official ambassadorial Twitter account, followed by the flag emojis of the United States and Iceland displayed side by side.

Gunter's retweet came after Trump tweeted on July 20, using "the Invisible China Virus" to refer to COVID-19.

No need to rescue Russian trawler in Norwegian shores — consulate

KHELSINKI, June 25. /TASS/: There is no need to perform a rescue operation for the Kokshaysk fishing trawler grounded near Norwegian shores, the Russian Consulate General in Kirkenes told TASS on Thursday.

The trawler with 35 persons on board ran aground near Arnoya Island in Norway, the Nordlys newspaper reported earlier on Thursday.

Finnish gov't defines restrictions on restaurants reopening

HELSINKI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- The Finnish government on Tuesday announced restrictions on upcoming reopening of restaurants in June to prevent possible further spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants can reopen only at half capacity, between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., and alcohol service would only be allowed from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., Finnish Family Affairs and Social Services Minister Krista Kiuru said at a government press conference.

Amnesty board member asks why Germany hasn’t banned Israel for ‘eliminating’ Palestine

6 May 2020; MEMO: A Finnish board member of Amnesty International has hit out at Germany’s decision to ban the political wing of Hezbollah by suggesting that the ideology of the Shia movement is no different to the racist views of political parties in Israel, including those in the current government.

Finland rejects 104,000kg of Israel oranges

30 April 2020; MEMO: Finnish customs officers have rejected 104,000 kilogrammes of oranges from Israel after discovering traces of Bromopropylate, a pesticide banned in the EU, on the produce.

Authorities say they rejected eight of 16 consignments of oranges received from Israel between February and mid-April because of the presence of the banned pesticide.

Finland: Rehn calls for solidarity between European countries

HELSINKI (Reuters) - European Central Bank policymaker Olli Rehn called on Wednesday for member states to enhance pan-European cooperation and for governments to take measures to support the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The difficulties caused by (the virus) are not due to any single country’s reckless management of finances. It is therefore necessary to support the most severely hit countries,” Rehn, who is Finland’s central bank chief, told a news conference.

Large quantities of protective gear arrive in Finland from China

HELSINKI, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Large quantities of anti-epidemic supplies have arrived in Finland from China on Wednesday, announced Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA).

The consignment, landing at Helsinki airport, included 5 million pieces of protective gloves and 170,000 pieces of respirators ordered from China.

It came a day after a total of 2.4 million pieces of surgical masks, jointly ordered from China by Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS) Logistics and NESA, arrived in the Nordic country.

Finnish emergency stockpile chief resigns in wake of protective gear imports unclarity

HELSINKI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Tomi Lounema, CEO of the Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA), resigned on Friday after talks with Finnish Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen who told a press conference that the credibility of the agency had been inadmissibly undermined.

The agency had not checked the backgrounds of two Finnish entrepreneurs it had accepted as intermediaries for purchase of protective gear from China.

Finland extends border controls until May 13

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finland’s government on Tuesday extended and tightened border controls restricting travel to and from the country until May 13 in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Finland has followed with mounting concern neighbouring Sweden’s liberal pandemic strategy, fearing cross-border commuters could speed up the spread of the virus in northern parts of Finland with an ageing population and limited intensive care resources.

Russian, Finnish Foreign Ministers to discuss Syria, coronavirus, and dialogue development

HELSINKI, March 3. /TASS/: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a series of meetings on Tuesday in the capital of Finland, where he arrived on a working visit.

Despite the short duration of the trip, his schedule will be quite tight. Lavrov will hold detailed talks with his Finnish counterpart, Pekka Haavisto, who retained his post in the new government of Finland. In addition, Lavrov will hold a separate meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

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