Niinistö plays down possible Trump-Putin meeting in Finland

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) in Arkhangelsk, Russia at the International Arctic Forum on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (Mikhail Metzel/International Arctic Forum/TASS)
Finland might host a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, according to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, but it won’t be any time soon.

That was the message from Niinistö at a hastily-arranged press conference in Helsinki called the day after he’d attended a panel discussion with the Russian leader in Arkhangelsk.

During that debate, hosted by the International Arctic Forum, Putin had agreed with the moderator that a meeting with the new US president in Finland would be a good idea.

Finland takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council for a two-year term in May. Niinistö said on Friday that a summit of the Arctic Council had been discussed with several other member states, but nothing had been agreed yet.

“The idea that a summit could happen at this notice is impossible,” said Niinistö.

Niinistö said that he had been working towards a summit of the Arctic Council in Finland for more than a year, but nothing concrete had yet been agreed.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: The Arctic Council at 20 – View from Canada, Eye on the Arctic

Finland:  No Arctic summit in Finland after all, The Independent Barents Observer

Iceland:  The Arctic Council at 20 – View from Iceland, Eye on the Arctic

Norway:  Sami ditched from Arctic Frontiers opening speeches, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Finland set to chair Arctic Council as member relations sour, Yle News

Sweden:  Arctic Council – From looking out to looking in, Blog by Mia Bennett, Cryopolitics

United States: Arctic Council – Business as usual with USA under Trump?, blog by Irene Quaile, Deutsche Welle

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