"It is completely unthinkable that a company which receives public endorsements can collaborate with a dictatorship," says Mikko Sauli, chairman of Attac Finland. "The actions of Nokia tell of a total lack of morals." In 2007 Nokia received research and development funding from TEKES (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) worth �?�13 million.* This was more than any other company received.
Attac Finland strictly condemns Nokia's actions in Turkmenistan, and insists that the company return its public funding from the time period when it has operated in Turkmenistan.
Attac also insists that public funding for companies must be conditioned to respecting democracy and human rights. It is time for Finland to show that it has a backbone. Sauli states: "It is a question of consistency in relation to our other international obligations. The commitment for democracy and human rights can also be considered a minimum requirement for companies."
Even though Turkmenistan is not under embargo, the country's poor human rights situation is widely known. Nokia should open its eyes, and not tarnish its reputation so blindly. According to the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, the Nokia Turkmenistan deal is worth over �?�9 million.
*= 12 826 279 euroa