Finnish Minister Warns Crumbling World Order Will Lead To "abyss"

Finnish minister warns crumbling world order will lead to

Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini on Wednesday expressed strong concern about Russian expansionism and the nuclear threat presented by North Korea, and warned that the erosion of postwar norms will see the world "sleepwalking towards the abyss once again."

At a press conference in Tokyo ahead of a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, Soini urged Japan to continue to work with Finland to uphold the international order as basic freedoms fall under increasing pressure in many countries.

"International treaties are under challenge, or are being interpreted in ways which risk making them meaningless," Soini said.

He said the interruption of norms underpinning international trade will hurt export-dependent economies in both Asia and Europe.

"I believe we should focus on making the present order more effective and more democratic; reform existing institutions, not destroy them," Soini said.

Japan and Finland cooperate in a number of areas including arms anti-proliferation and climate change.

Soini is the former leader of the populist Finns Party, previously known as the True Finns. He split from the party last year after the party became the second largest in Finland's parliament. He said he was considering not standing in the country's next election and retiring from politics.