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Home NATIONALNiinistö hails NATO-Russia dialogue
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Mon, 19 Sep, 2016 12:08:44 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Sep 19
 
President Sauli Niinistö. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
President Sauli Niinistö termed the rapprochement of Russia and NATO a good thing. 
 
In his blog, the president wrote that it is in everyone’s best interest, if security-building measures generate a common understanding between NATO and Russia.
 
NATO and Russia have, according to Niinistö, started a dialogue this week to ensure flight safety in the Baltic Sea. 
 
He said each party is apparently expanding the dialogue to more general security issues and in his view this debate is to be welcomed.
 
“A particular concern in Finland is aviation safety in the Baltic Sea, and in my own view, even a small step to increase security is a good thing,” Niinistö wrote.
 
The president continued that Russian activity had aroused suspicions in Finland. 
 
However, NATO has given a green light for dialogue. He said the military alliance was also active in Finland’s direction.
 
“NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg informed me on Thursday of the exact situation,” said the president.
 
NATO and Russia discussed on Thursday in Brussels the reduction of risk and the improvement of openness and transparency in their relations. 
 
The meeting was attended by NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Versbow and Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko.
 
Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over the forthcoming week at the UN in New York.
 
NATO said it is ready to maintain negotiation contacts with Russia, but practical cooperation remains suspended. 
 
The reason for this is Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.
 
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