President Medvedev discussed security policy in his keynote speech at the University of Helsinki

The audience included Finnish political and administrative leaders as well as university staff and students

Medvedev

In his keynote speech at the University of Helsinki on 20 April 2009, President Dmitry Medvedev spoke in favour of a new type of transatlantic security conference, dubbed the “Helsinki Plus” conference, in reference to the 1975 CSCE meeting in Helsinki. The audience included Finnish political and administrative leaders as well as university staff and students.

The widely advertised speech was also attended by dozens of media representatives from Finland and Russia.

Security was exceptionally tight, and the old section of the Main Building was closed hours before the arrival of the President. In his speech, President Medvedev focused on European security policy. He introduced his idea for a new kind of summit that could replace the OSCE, which seems to have become preoccupied with marginal issues.

President Medvedev also made a point of praising the University of Helsinki. He particularly commended the unique collection of Russian literature housed by the university library.

At the end of the 30-minute keynote speech the President took four questions from the audience. One of the questions, asked by Matilda Merenmies, Board Member of the Student Union, concerned the future of student exchange between Finland and Russia.

President Medvedev assured the audience that Russia does and will support exchange programmes.

“When I was a student, only the luckiest ones got to study in Finland,” said the President, reflecting on his student days. “Unfortunately, I was not one of them.”

President Medvedev, who worked as a researcher at the Saint Petersburg State University, also stressed the importance of active researcher and teacher exchange between the two countries.

President Medvedev’s speech can be found in its entirety at YLE Areena >>


Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Matti Björkman / Lehtikuva
22.4.2009
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy


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