“We have seen now a fundamental change in our position. We are now an ally, a member of NATO. I think we were really close already [to NATO membership]... But there is also another change and this is the fact that last year the US became our first - biggest trading partner.”
~ H.E. Mikko Hautala
Ambassador Hautala spoke about his country's emerging technology and the impact that has on Finland's economy and trading partners. He pointed out that anytime someone googles something the request is routed through at least two Nokia routers. The next step is 6G, which Finland is working on currently. Ambassador Hautala went on to discuss the war in Ukraine. He shared from his time spent as Ambassador to Moscow coloring an understanding the Russian mindset. Ambassador Hautala then presented a historical look at why Finland joined NATO, what caused them to join at the time they did, and the history between Finland and Russia.
Ambassador Mikko Hautala became Ambassador of Finland to the United States in September 2020. Prior to that (2016-2020), he served as Ambassador of Finland to Russia. In 2012-2016 Ambassador Hautala worked as Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of the Republic of Finland. In 2011, he was appointed Deputy Head of Mission to Embassy of Finland to Russia, located in Moscow. Ambassador Hautala has also served as the Diplomatic Advisor the to Minister for Foreign Affairs (2007-2011) as well as the First Secretary at the Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU in Brussels (2002-2007).
In the beginning of his career, he has served as Attaché at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Helsinki (2001-2002) and as Attaché at the Embassy of Finland in Kyiv, Ukraine (1998-2001). He joined the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland in 2001. In August 2020, Hautala was awarded (“Ambassador Prize”) by the Confederation of Finnish Industries for his excellent work in promoting the interests of Finnish companies in Russia. During his career, he has received several civil and military decorations both nationally and internationally.
Ambassador Hautala was born in 1972 in Seinäjoki, Finland. He studied at the Helsinki University. He holds degrees in Master of Political Science (M.Pol.Sc) and Master of Philosophy (MPhil), both from the same University. He currently holds the military rank of captain (reserve). Ambassador Hautala is, in addition to the native Finnish, fluent in English, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. He likes to read and think.