Vladimir Putin to visit Helsinki next Wednesday

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto after a joint news conference following in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, on August 22, 2018. Vladimir Putin will meet Sauli Niinistö in Helsinki, Finland on August 21. (Pavel Golovkin/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Helsinki on 21 August, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s office announced on Wednesday.

In a tweet from his personal account, Niinistö wrote in Finnish that he expects “interesting and useful discussions” with Putin.

During the one-day working visit, the two are to hold talks at the Presidential Palace overlooking Helsinki harbour. Putin and Niinistö are also scheduled to hold a joint press conference after their talks.

Niinistö’s office has not revealed any specific details of their agenda beyond the standard “bilateral, regional and international issues”.

A day earlier, before the date was named, Niinistö said that no subject would be considered off the table during upcoming negotiations with Putin.

The two have met regularly, usually at least twice annually, since they both took office in 2012. At that point Putin resumed the presidency after four years as prime minister. Niinistö continued to meet with Putin even when many other European leaders declined to do so in response to the Ukraine crisis.

The two heads of state last met during the Russian-sponsored Arctic Forum in St. Petersburg last April. This marks Putin’s first visit to Finland since his Helsinki summit with US President Donald Trump in July 2018.

After the press conference, the presidents will cross the harbour for dinner at the Suomenlinna Sea Fortress. It was built by Finland’s Swedish rulers in the mid-eighteenth century to defend again the Russians, who nevertheless took control of it – and the rest of Finland – in 1808.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Canada, U.S. must do more to check Russian military in the Arctic, says NORAD chief, CBC News

Finland: Finland’s new defence chief says country likely to reduce participation in international drills, Yle News

Iceland: Iceland & UK sign agreement to boost security, defence cooperation, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Russian warplanes drill submarine hunt in Norwegian Sea, Norway on edge, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Nordic leaders stand united as they sit with Putin in Russia, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Sweden wants to rebuild its “total defence” system, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. ups rhetoric in Arctic, but not its game, Cryopolitics Blog

Yle News

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