In her letter to the employees of the City of Turku, Mayor of Turku Minna Arve appeals for solidarity among the city’s residents and emphasizes that there is no room in Turku for any kind of racism or any other increase in tensions.

City of Turku has a large number of Russian as well as Ukrainian residents living and working in the city.

“Ukrainians, Russians and townsmen from many other countries live, work and study in Turku. In our city, employees from different backgrounds work all over the town – in nursing, schools, kindergartens, project work, customer service. They are all citizens of Turku. I remind and hope that no one would leave to unleash their own bad feelings or fears on the people living here, whatever their background. The situation in Ukraine is not the fault of anyone living in Turku. The leadership and administration of the Russian state are responsible for this. In Turku, Ukrainians and Russians, all of us city dwellers, can live together. We are empowered by community and by supporting each other in this difficult situation”, Mayor Arve states.

“I strongly urge that there is no room in Turku for any kind of racism or any other increase in tensions. So let's take care of each other. The situation is equally shocking to everyone and causes concern and grief. Many have to worry about their acquaintances and relatives there in the middle of a war”, Mayor Arve continues.

Turku and other Finland’s largest cities support Ukraine with humanitarian aid

Turku together with the Finnish cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Oulu, Vantaa, Hämeenlinna, Joensuu, Jyväskylä, Kotka, Kouvola, Kuopio, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Mikkeli, Porvoo and Rovaniemi are preparing to provide assistance to Ukraine. The cities will assist the country of Ukraine and its residents with a sum totaling approximately EUR 1.5 million. Turku will participate with EUR 150 000.

“To my delight, I have noticed that other municipalities in the Turku region have also joined the support. Turku sends support through the state and the Finnish Red Cross, because they have the ability to assist, help, and most of all, make sure the aid reaches its target”, Mayor Arve says.

“We are preparing for refugees from Ukraine to start coming to Turku as well. We are preparing to receive them at the Finnish Red Cross reception center in Pansio and we are constantly searching for additional accommodation. The overall picture is still unclear, but the city is ready.”

Turku has suspended all on-going twin city activities with the City of St. Petersburg as well as planning of upcoming events and functions. In addition, Turku has closed the Turku Centre which has been operating in the Finland House in St. Petersburg.