The City of Oulu, together with the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities and the cities of Tampere and Lahti, condemns Russia’s hostilities in Ukraine. Odessa and Oulu have been twin cities for 65 years. Mutual collaboration and friendship started in 1957. The twin cities of Tampere is Kyiv and Lahti is Zaporizhzhia.
The Mayor of Oulu Päivi Laajala, the Mayor of Tampere Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, the Mayor of Lahti Pekka Timonen, and the CEO of the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities Minna Karhunen condemn the Russian military action in Ukraine in their joint statement. The city leaders also appeal to other European cities to work for regional peace, security, and democracy.
The cities also show their support for the residents of their twin cities and the Ukrainians living in Finland. According to the city administration’s knowledge, 54 Ukrainians live in Oulu. Outi Rouru, Head of Public Relations and Protocol of the City of Oulu, says that the City of Oulu has been in contact with Odessa and discussions have taken place between the cities earlier this the week.
“Of course we are shocked by this situation, as Odessa is one of our oldest twin cities. Our cooperation has been close, and this year marks its 65th anniversary,” Rouru says.
The festivities of the long-term cooperation turned to crisis management with the aim that the local government could take care of the people of Odessa and secure services for the townspeople in the midst of the crisis.