Finnish president meets with Swedish PM, royals amid Winter War commemorations

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President of Finland Sauli Niinisto (R) and prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, in June 2016. (Ronni Rekomaa/AFP/Getty Images)
President Sauli Niinistö is in Stockholm on Monday, meeting with Sweden’s top political leadership on the sidelines of events honouring Swedes who volunteered to help defend Finland during the WW2 era.

President Sauli Niinistö is in Stockholm on Monday for ceremonies marking the end of the Winter War in 1940, and the role played by Swedish volunteers. He will also hold talks with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on Monday.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is taking part in a celebration organised by Svenska Finlandsfrivilligas Minnesförening, in honour of the end of the Winter War.

The three-and-a-half-month-long conflict ended on March 13, 1940, with a peace treaty between Finland and the USSR.

Crown Princess Victoria attends wreath-laying

Niinistö is to lay a wreath at a monument in Finland’s Park near central Stockholm. The president will then address a reception at the Finnish Embassy.

Those invited include Swedish volunteers who served in the Winter and Continuation Wars as well as other veterans and representatives of veterans’ groups.

Joining him at both events will be Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist as well as Crown Princess Victoria and her younger brother, Prince Carl Philip.

Some 8,000 Swedes volunteered to fight on the Finnish side in the Winter War, as well as about 1,700 during the Continuation War against the Soviet Union in 1941-44.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canadian Army Exercise ARCTIC BISON 2017 challenged by winter thaw, Radio Canada International

Finland:  Finnish Air force to take part in joint Finnish-Swedish-US military exercises, Yle News

Norway:  Norway hikes 2017 defense budget, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia:  Russia builds Arctic air defense shield, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  New security landscape in the Arctic, Radio Sweden

United States: Here’s what’s in the U.S. Defense Department’s new Arctic strategy, Alaska Dispatch News

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