Finland Times

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Home NATIONALPutin to visit Finland in summer
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Tue, 07 Jun, 2016 12:04:18 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Jun 7
 
File Photo – Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö on Monday said the upcoming visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Finland is a natural progression in the spirit of hospitality, since Niinistö himself had visited Putin a number of times for discussions.
 
Speaking at a meeting of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK) representatives, Niinistö said Finland’s position in respect to this [Putin’s visit] is not different to other European countries.
 
The president pointed out that Putin had previously held bilateral relations with France, among other countries.
 
Since the crisis in Crimea in spring 2014, Putin has made infrequent official visits to Western countries, the foreign ministry told the news agency STT. 
 
Putin visited Hungary in February 2015, Italy in June 2015, and Greece in April this year.
 
Furthermore, the Russian president has in the recent past visited Germany, the United States, Australia and France three times. 
 
The impetus for these visits has been events of importance such as the Paris Climate Conference, Munich Security Conference, UN General Assembly meeting, G20 Summit or the Ukrainian peace talks.
 
Niinistö emphasised that Putin’s visit in the summer will be a working visit and not a festive one. He believes the discussions will deal with broad international issues as well the economic ties between the two countries.
 
Niinistö said the tensions in the Baltic Sea have unquestionably increased due to the international situation. He considers cooperative activities between Finland and Sweden natural.
 
Putin will make a one-day visit to Finland this summer, reported  the Finnish language newspaper Turun Sanomat on Saturday, saying the visit, which will be the Russian president’s first trip to his country’s western neighbour since 2013, will most likely take place in July.
 
Putin will meet his counterpart Sauli Niinistö at the latter’s simmer residence at Kultaranta in Naantali.
 
Detailed timetable of the visit, or of what the two presidents will discuss, have not been announced.
 
Of all the EU leaders, Finland’s President Niinistö has been arguably the most active in seeking to maintain dialogue with Moscow, holding regular phone calls with President Putin, and visiting each other once a year. 
 
Niinistö travelled to Moscow in March this year and in June last year.
 
In the latest meeting of two presidents the agenda contained issues of bilateral relations including cross-border cooperation as well as international issues ranging from Ukraine to Syria and Arctic cooperation.
 
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