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President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the media after it was confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will meet in Helsinki on 16 July.
President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the media after it was confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump will meet in Helsinki on 16 July.

 

The Kremlin and White House on Thursday confirmed that Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will meet in Helsinki on 16 July 2018.

President Sauli Niinistö revealed yesterday he was approached last week about the possibility of holding the summit in Helsinki. The summit is expected to bring thousands of visitors – namely, journalists and political staff – to the Finnish capital.

The location of the summit has yet been disclosed, but speculation in the media indicate that the options include the Manor of Königsted in Vantaa, and Mäntyniemi and the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki.

Niinistö estimated that the summit is a natural continuation of the recent meetings between the military leaders and deputy foreign ministers of Russia and the United States in Finland.

“[It] will take the dialogue to the next level,” he viewed.

“The topics of discussions between Presidents Trump and Putin will be clarified over the next two weeks, but I’m sure that the international situation in general and, hopefully, issues related to arms control and disarmament will be on the agenda. Taking even small steps forward to reduce tensions would be in everyone’s best interest,” he stated.

Finland, he reminded, is only hosting the summit, and the agenda will be determined by the guests. John Bolton, the national security advisor of President Trump, has revealed the presidents will at least discuss means to reduce tensions in Syria and Ukraine.

Niinistö revealed that he will use the opportunity to call further attention also to the situation in the Baltic Sea and environmental protection in the Arctic.

“We’ve already agreed on a bilateral meeting with President Trump, and I’m sure there’ll also be an opportunity to meet with President Putin,” he commented in a press conference at his official residence, Mäntyniemi.

“I plan to draw attention to a very urgent issue: the emissions of black coal in the Arctic. Black coal [emissions] cause melting as the sun heats the ice. If we lose the Arctic, we’ll lose the entire Earth. I’ve talked about this with both of them previously, and I’ll address the issue again. Hopefully it’ll be possible to get them to talk about the issue also bilaterally, and maybe even produce some results.”

“Another issue,” he added, “is the situation in the Baltic Sea. We’ve been concerned about the fact that tensions have increased year after year.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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