07:37 GMT +317 July 2019
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    Donetsk People’s Republic Launches Representative Office in Helsinki

    © AFP 2019 / JUSSI NOUSIAINEN / LEHTIKUVA
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    The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has opened a representative office in Finland. The bureau was officially registered in Fall 2016 in Helsinki. Since then the DPR's office has been providing local Finnish citizens travel services to the Donbass region.

    The DPR Foreign Ministry added that the official opening ceremony had been attended by the Finland-Russia Friendship Society chairman Daria Skippari-Smirnov, artist Serguei Zlenko, journalists from the Vastavalkea, Ila-Sanomat and DONAI media outlets and others.

    “Today, on December 9, the opening ceremony of the DPR Representative center took place in Helsinki, Finland,” the DPR's Foreign ministry press release read.

     

    Head of DPR Representative office in Helsinki Johan Erkki Baeckman plans to intensify travel and educational exchanges for all interested citizens.

    "We already have some plans to organize student exchanges. We are conducting intensive publishing activity — several books have been published already. We also organize conferences, lectures and concerts — thus, our scale of work is pretty wide," Baeckman was quoted as saying by Russian media.

    Johan Baeckman also said that they have the idea of creating similar offices in other large cities across Finland.

    According to European media reports, the Finnish authorities as well as senior diplomats have expressed serious concerns over the DPR's office in Helsinki. Earlier, Finnish officials had reaffirmed their stance on Ukraine, denouncing the move of the DPR and acknowledging Ukrainian integrity.

    In 2014, Kiev began a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics in the Donbass region. The two republics have refused to recognize the new US-supported government in Kiev that came to power in what they perceived to be a coup.

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    Tags:
    DPR Office, tourism, relations, diplomacy, cooperation, Johan Erkki Baeckman, Helsinki, Finland
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