Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

PM for EU unity to face impact of U.S. sanctions

17 May 2018, 20:10 ( 9 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä talked to the journalists in Sofia on Thursday. Photo Finnish government by Anne Sjöholm.

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on Thursday said ways of arranging financing for trade with Iran must be explored.

He told national broadcaster Yle from Sofia, Bulgaria that the European Investment Bank (EIB) could be an option.

Established in 1958, the EIB can give credits to non-EU countries. Authorization for such credits amounts to 28 billion euros by 2020, according to the Finnish finance ministry. They have been described as credits that are associated with the implementation of agreements between the EU and recipient countries.

Sipilä made the remarks after the late night working dinner of EU leaders.

Leaders of EU countries were meeting in Sofia for an unofficial two-day summit. The current transatlantic situation replaced digitization as the main topic of discussion. On Thursday, leaders met with western Balkan leaders envisaging the future EU membership.

The EU Commission is to prepare a selection of counter measures to U.S. policy changes by the beginning of August.

"The counter measures would bar companies from complying with U.S. ordered sanctions," Sipilä elaborated, but was not explicit about their feasibility.

 The prime minister said the EU wants to adhere to the treaty with Iran. Sipilä underlined Europe must show determination. "We must take decisions based on our own judgment," he said.

Since the lifting of sanctions against Iran in 2015, several Finnish major manufacturing companies have been active in boosting their exports. The Finnish food sector has also found opportunities in Iran. Finnish fast food chain Hesburger recently opened its first restaurant in Tehran.