This is how Tarja Kronberg justified her visit to Russia

Iltalehti publishes an excerpt from Tarja Kronberg’s May Day interview. Kronberg says he declines any further comment.

  • Darja Kronberg considered herself a mediator.
  • According to Kronberg, researchers do not visit Russia because universities have banned them.
  • Granberg appealed to the ambassador’s approval.

On Monday, Iltalehti, together with its international partners, reported on the scientific participation of former Labor Minister Tarja Cronberg – or seminars organized in Russia.

In this article, Iltalehti publishes an excerpt from an interview conducted for the article on April 30. Kronberg refuses, and tells Ildelate that he declines any further comment. However, he clarified some of the answers through email.

Darja Kronberg participated in the Primakovsky Forum in Moscow in December 2023. Imemo Run / Screenshot

Kronberg, a peace researcher, former leader of the Green Party and former president of the Peace League, specifically answered Iltalethi’s questions. Baltic stage -The event was organized at the initiative of the Russian Presidential Administration in Kaliningrad in April.

You can read more about the topic in Iltalehti’s Plus article.

How do you see attending these seminars in Russia? In this world political situation, why did you want to go there or visit them?

– I am currently researching Russia’s role in the nuclear weapons system and writing a book about it. In such a study, it is very important to understand and know how the use of nuclear weapons and their threat are perceived in Russia.

Kronberg in an email addressed “the global nuclear weapons system and which international treaties govern it and how they are applied.”

– Finnish Ambassador Anti Helanterä was asked in Moscow who could be invited from Finland to the Primakov event. He mentioned me. And he was present.

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– At the Primakov seminar, I received criticism from my research colleagues because when we talked about these threats, I said that Russia’s nuclear threat is illegal under international law. In that sense it is a very critical speech.

– I think it is not for lack of interest that researchers do not go to Russia.

Kronberg clarifies in his email response that his own “guidance” for participation in Russia came from a seminar held two years ago.

– I was in May 2022 Carnegie Endowment Arms control was discussed at a seminar organized in Finland.

– The seminar discussed several aspects of Finland’s relations with Russia. The president of the Carnegie Endowment said that only then should the relationship with Russia be developed. They are to be cherished, for nothing new comes of conflict. At some point we need to know what happened or what is happening in Russia.

Finnish researchers have said they don’t visit Russia knowing these events are Russia’s information influence.

By going to events, they become part of Russia’s information influence, whose purpose is to spread stories favorable to the Kremlin, which they don’t want to support. How do you see this argument?

Granberg says at the beginning of his response via email that he “hasn’t seen a report on this.”

– I understand that the problem with Russian researchers is about universities that researchers refuse to go to.

– Universities across Europe have banned researchers from participating. If you have a salaried relationship with the university, that is also unlikely.

“This is about contractual collaboration between universities, not a direct exchange of ideas between researchers,” Granberg says via email.

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– In my case, I went when the ambassador recommended me.

– I also asked Sibri director By Don Smith vision The Swedish International Peace Research Institute where I belong is Sibri Distinguished partner Under the title. “Dialogue is very important,” said Sibri’s director.

“He [Smith] “Communication channels are critical even in difficult times,” Granberg said via email.

Is it a rate of pay? Does Sibri Pay You?

– This is an unpaid contractual relationship. Sibri may pay for work performed with a separate contract. I have done a paid report on the Middle East’s defense architecture for Sibri in six months of 2020.

Darja Kronberg has no problem with her visits to Russia.

You don’t care where your colleagues come from, i.e. Western experts participating in these seminars are used to influence Russia’s information?

– Of course, if it turns out that this is happening. If there is a situation where you are actually being taken advantage of, I would definitely not go.

– but on the other hand, for now it’s still a balancing act for me. I need to find a middle ground where I can get information from Russia and at the same time prepare it for the West.

“I understand that international conferences can be such a place,” Granberg adds via email.

– I belong European leadership Network, and visited today with its director [30. huhtikuuta] A discussion of the situation in Russia. We talked about me having a sort of intermediary role, relaying information.

Kronberg clarifies via email that he participates as a member of the network in discussions about relations between Russia and the West, and specifically arms control agreements. “In these conversations, it’s important to know what the other party is thinking,” writes Kronberg.

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– So far, I have received approval from both the Finnish ambassador and the director of Sipri. As soon as I receive reports that my participation has been misused, it will be terminated. Unexpectedly.

Is the production of valuable information all that important?

– For now, I consider it my own work to create information to avoid threats related to nuclear weapons and in particular. (“To avoid nuclear war,” Granberg clarifies via email). I participate in seminars where experts evaluate how nuclear threats should be interpreted.

Lithuanian security services have given us reports on the possibility of Russian security services using these opportunities for recruitment efforts. Have you experienced these approaches?

– Not me. It would have been a sign that I was no longer able to get information from seminars. Then I can’t go to them. All the researchers I spoke to had directly benefited from their research.

Kronberg says in an email that the researchers he spoke to were already familiar to him. “Their research gave me a direct benefit and clarified how these questions are seen in Russia”.

Iltalehti’s coverage of Kronberg is based on an international collaboration, in which Iltalehti, Delfi (Estonia), LRT (Lithuania), Expressen (Sweden), Paper Trail Media (Germany) and The Insider participated.

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