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President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the press after a joint news conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, 16 July.
President Sauli Niinistö spoke to the press after a joint news conference between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday, 16 July.

 

President Sauli Niinistö has yet to shed much light on the details and nature of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Helsinki on Monday.

“I think I managed to call attention to the situation in the Arctic – particularly, the problem posed by black carbon. I’m confident we can move forward in that respect later at the Arctic Council,” he stated in a news conference held after the widely anticipated summit between Trump and Putin in Helsinki.

Niinistö revealed that the other talking points included the global significance of Europe and the increase in military exercise activity in the Baltic Sea – both of which, he pointed out, are issues that were reportedly not addressed in the bilateral talks between Putin and Trump.

“I’ve made several statements about the need to have a dialogue. But having dialogue over the head of someone, without listening to them is not good. If you listened to the news conference, you noticed that there were no indications that they had made any agreements on European issues,” he highlighted.

Niinistö viewed that Finland was selected as the location of the summit due to its reputation as one of the freest and most stable countries in the world, but also seemed to voice his discomfort with the insistence to label the country as neutral.

“Many news outlets have talked about the neutrality of Finland. Finland has co-operation agreements with a number of countries, and it’s a member of the European Union. If that makes it a neutral country, so be it,” he said.

He also drew attention to estimates that the global geopolitical situation is tenser than during the Cold War.

“The entire global community or at least the so-called western community has been unanimous on the need for dialogue. We’re all concerned about claims that the situation is worse than it was during the Cold War. The conclusion we’ve drawn from these concerns is that we should promote dialogue. When Finland was asked to host the summit, we logically decided to take on [the task],” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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