Russian President Vladimir Putin says he highly values the balanced and independent foreign policy of Finland.
“We believe it’s a valued contributor to stability in Northern Europe. And we’re ready to continue our dialogue with Finland and other willing states on issues related to improving security in the Baltic Sea,” he stated in a joint press conference with President Sauli Niinistö in Savonlinna, Eastern Finland, on Thursday.
Niinistö commented on the issue by estimating that Finland has no need to balance itself between Russia and the United States.
“Finland is naturally developing relations with its neighbouring countries. We’ll have good and stable relations also going forward. On the other hand, we’re developing our relations with the European Union and the United States. It’s not about balancing but, I think, an order of sorts that’d be good for everyone around the globe in understanding each other,” he said.
Niinistö and Putin on Thursday met already for the third time in the past year to discuss a number of issues ranging from bilateral relations, environmental concerns, the situation in Ukraine and the security situation in the Baltic Sea Region.
Niinistö, for example, drew attention to the necessity to reduce soot and black carbon emissions in the Arctic Region. Finland, he promised, will make an irresistible proposition on gas flaring – an issue that has come to the fore during its chairmanship of the Arctic Council. “Preventing black carbon emissions in the region wouldn’t impact the economic interests anyone may have,” he reminded.
“We also talked about the situation in Ukraine, which has not improved. It’d still be important to first reach a truce and take small steps forward with, for example, the release of prisoners,” added Niinistö.
Putin responded by stating that he was pleased to hear new ideas about developing environmental protection in the Arctic Region. Finland and Russia together can accomplish a lot in the region, he estimated before also calling attention to the rapid recovery of trade and co-operation in energy and environmental issues between the two countries.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Michael Klimentyev – Sputnik/Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi