Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto, have discussed bilateral relations, as well as relations between Russia and the European Union and security in the Baltic region, as reported by the Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“There was a rather constructive and useful discussion between the two presidents. They spoke in detail about all aspects of Russian-Finnish cooperation,” Peskov noted.
He mentioned that the two presidents raised the issue of the forthcoming termination of the export of unprocessed timber from Russia which is about to start from January 1, 2022. Also, the two leaders considered the possibility of using the Saimaa canal on a greater scale.
As the official Kremlin website cites Putin, next year the two countries will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their founding treaty, which is the basis of modern relations between Russia and Finland.
The President said that despite all the difficulties associated with the pandemic, this year the two countries can overcome to a large extent the damage that it caused to their relations in the economic sphere, as compared to the same period last year, the trade turnover increased by 21 per cent. Besides, major projects are also ongoing and even the intergovernmental commission resumed its work.
“We are really neighbours, we have a lot in common, but we somehow separated a little because of the pandemic […] Indeed, it is a pity that there are fewer movements of our citizens across the border. I hope that we will be able to return to the previous volumes as soon as possible […] We have a variety of issues on the agenda in the world, including climate change. It is very useful for us, representatives of small countries, to hear what representatives of larger countries think,” Niinisto said.
In turn, Putin expressed his hope to talk on the Arctic issue in this regard.
“I would also like to say that Russia holds the chairmanship of the Arctic Council until 2023. I know that Finland has always paid a lot of attention to cooperation in the Arctic. I hope that we will be able to talk about this topic today,” he concluded.