Nordics & Baltics

Politics 30-07-2021

Lithuania launches probe into cyberattacks amid migration crisis

Lithuania’s Cybersecurity Centre has launched an investigation into alleged disinformation about where migrants might be accommodated, which according to Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė, has stoked fears among local communities. “I have information about cyberattacks trying to spread disinformation about plans...
Politics 15-07-2021

Lithuanian MPs call for tightening Europe’s ‘too liberal’ migration rules

Two Lithuanian parliamentary committees have suggested pushing for tighter EU immigration policies, calling on Lithuania’s foreign ministry to draft proposals and initiate discussions in Brussels, BNS reported. The initiative comes in reaction to a recent spike in irregular migration to...
Politics 12-07-2021

Lithuania to spend €41m on border fence with Belarus

Lithuania will build a fence at its border with Belarus, Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė confirmed. “We think we could do that quickly enough, such a fence would cost approximately €41 million,” she told reporters on Friday. This comes in addition...
Politics 09-07-2021

Lithuania to start building barrier on border with Belarus this week, says minister

Lithuania is due to start building barbed wire fencing on the border with Belarus, Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas confirmed on Thursday (8 July). “It will be launched most probably today or tomorrow, at the latest, but, of course, this would...
Politics 08-07-2021

Lithuania expels Belarusian diplomats from Vilnius in tit-for-tat move

Lithuania’s foreign ministry has ordered the Belarusian embassy in Vilnius to cut its diplomatic staff to one in response to a similar action by the Minsk government earlier this week. The Ministry summoned the acting chargé d’affaires of the Belarusian...
Politics 06-07-2021

Lithuania: Tikhanouskaya’s team is ‘democratic representation of Belarus.’

Lithuania’s foreign ministry on Monday designated Vilnius-based Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanouskaya and her team the democratic representation of Belarus in Lithuania. The accreditation is a symbolic step in the legal recognition of Belarusian civil society and its aspirations to...
Politics 02-07-2021

Nordic newspapers publish joint petition protesting measures to control media in Hong Kong

Four leading newspapers in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway simultaneously published a joint petition on Thursday, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, protesting the closure of the Daily Apple newspaper, and measures to control and...
Politics 01-07-2021

Moderate Party leader given chance to form new Swedish government

Sweden’s parliamentary speaker, Andreas Norlén has given Ulf Kristersson, the chair of the conservative-liberal Moderate Party, the biggest opposition party in the current parliament,  a mandate to try and form a new government. On Monday, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven resigned...
Politics 30-06-2021

Blame game over new COVID-19 outbreak intensifies in Finland

Finns have expressed outrage over the lack of testing procedures for a group of 800 Finnish football fans who travelled to St. Petersburg to watch a EURO 2020 match against Russia, where the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant is now...
Politics 29-06-2021

Sweden’s PM resigns, asks parliament speaker to find replacement

Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven resigned on Monday in what he called one of the most difficult decisions of his political career. Löfven asked the parliament’s speaker, Andreas Norlen, to start negotiations to explore groupings to form the next government...
Politics 28-06-2021

Fishing ban on River Teno hits locals and tourists alike

A joint decision by the Finnish and Norwegian governments to prohibit all fishing on the River Teno from May until December comes as a blow to the local population as well as the struggling tourism industry. For the first time...
Politics 25-06-2021

Global survey shows Finland have highest trust in media

A new global survey by the Reuters Institute and by the University of Oxford’s research centre shows that trust in the news media in Finland is the highest in the world, with experts citing cultural traditions, the pandemic, and Finland’s...
Politics 24-06-2021

Survey: Nordic countries are most expensive in EU

Prices in Denmark, Iceland and Norway exceed the EU average by 40% and Sweden by around 30%. Prices in Finland are the lowest among Nordics, but still eighth highest in Europe and exceeding the EU average by 26%, making the...
Politics 24-06-2021

Estonia’s Arctic Council bid fails

Estonia’s bid for observer status in the Arctic Council was shot down by the council’s members – Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Canada, Russia and the US – although it has not been revealed who was in favour or against....
Politics 23-06-2021

Finnish FM: EU envoy work continues despite Ethiopian criticism

A recent report to the European Parliament by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto that described the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region as “out of control” has sparked strong condemnation from Ethiopia. In an interview with a Finnish MTV3 TV...
Politics 22-06-2021

Swedish government loses no-confidence vote

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s minority government of Social Democrats and Greens lost a no-confidence vote in parliament on Monday, the first time in Sweden’s history a prime minister has been ousted by parliament. The parties have been given a...
Politics 22-06-2021

Chair of the Finns Party announces plans to step down

Jussi Halla-aho, the chair of the populist and nationalist Finns Party announced on Monday during a party webcast that he will not be seeking  re-election in the August party conference. However, the announcement was no surprise to the party’s inner...
Politics 21-06-2021

Finnish, Estonian tax administrations start sharing data in real-time

Finland and Estonia have started to share tax data online in real-time, making it the first automatic information exchange between national tax administrations, replacing the previous method of exchanging information through manually processed requests. The real-time data exchange is expected...
Politics 18-06-2021

Greens around the Baltic Sea denounce Nord Stream 2

In the aftermath of the meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Green MEPs and political parties from countries around the Baltic Sea expressed their “firm disapproval” of and “opposition” to the Nord Stream 2...
Politics 18-06-2021

Lithuania records rapid rise in irregular migration

The number of undocumented migrants detained in Lithuania after crossing from Belarus has increased to 397, including six Iraqi nationals stopped on Thursday (17 June). In comparison, 81 people were detained in 2020, 46 in 2019, and 104 in 2018....
Politics 17-06-2021

Swedish political storm over rent reform

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has been given 48 hours to resolve a spat over draft legislation aimed at liberalising the rental market by the leader of opposition Left Party Nooshi Dadgostar, who threatened to otherwise withdraw support from the...
Politics 16-06-2021

Three Nordic countries top sustainable development list

Finland, Sweden and Denmark have topped the list of countries making progress in implementing the UN’s 2030 sustainable development goals, a new UN report compiled with the German Bertelsmann Foundation finds. The annual report published on Monday (14 June) evaluates...
Politics 15-06-2021

Norway’s licensing round for oil companies angers environmentalists

The announcement on 9 June by Norway’s petroleum and energy ministry inviting oil companies to apply for exploration blocks has upset environmental groups, including Greenpeace. The blocks available are situated on the country’s continental shelf in the “mature”, so-called predefined...
Politics 14-06-2021

Tensions mount between Estonia and Finland over travel restrictions

Travel restrictions imposed by Finland are causing tension with Estonia, as Finland’s strict COVID-19 exit strategy has only allowed commuting by air, subjecting those travelling by ferry to quarantine and leaving some 20,000 Estonian workers who have been staying in...