Finnish President Niinistö: conversation with Putin was calm and cool Putin was “surprisingly calm” about the conversation with Niinistö about Finland's prospects in NATO, the president said. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would take steps of a “military-technical nature” jpg” alt=”President of Finland called cold-blooded conversation with Putin about NATO” />
Sauli Niinistö and Vladimir Putin
During a conversation with the Russian President about the prospect of Finland joining NATO, Vladimir Putin “did not repeat the threats from his subordinates”, the conversation took place in a calm manner, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said in an interview with CNN.
“In general the discussion was very calm and cool <…> it was surprising that he took it calmly, & mdash; appreciated the President of Finland.
Ninisto added that one should be careful and careful, despite any statements by the Russian authorities.
The President of Finland explained that he called his Russian colleague for a frank conversation about what is happening, since the country does not intend to “quietly disappear around the corner.” He announced this earlier on May 15 during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin, MTV Uutiset reported. He said that he was worried about possible “military-technical measures” countermeasures, which were mentioned in the warnings of Moscow.
The President of Finland gave several possible explanations why this time the reaction of the Russian side was more restrained than before. First, he said, Moscow was following the cooperation between Helsinki and NATO and could understand that the parties were already cooperating as closely as possible for the country— partner of the alliance, or Moscow wants to avoid public discussion of this topic. Finally, Niinistö continued, the Russian authorities may indeed take a more relaxed view on the matter.
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Marin added that “everything has changed”; and now in Helsinki they see “a completely different Russia” than before the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine. Finland cannot count on Russia to pursue a peaceful policy, she said. “Finland's decision to join NATO was made so that there would never be a new war in Finland,” — emphasized Marin.
The conversation between the Finnish and Russian presidents took place on Saturday, May 14. Putin considered the decision of the country's authorities a mistake, recalling that the country had previously adhered to neutrality. He also assured that Russia does not pose a threat. “Such a change in the country's foreign policy may have a negative impact on Russian-Finnish relations,” — suggested the Russian president. At the same time, its representative Dmitry Peskov called the prospect of Finland joining NATO an unconditional threat to Russia.
The Foreign Ministry warned that in such a scenario, Moscow “would be forced to take retaliatory steps, both military-technical and other in nature, in in order to stop the threats to its national security arising in this regard. Dmitry Polyansky, Russia's Deputy Chairman to the UN, said that with the deployment of NATO units in Sweden and Finland, their territories could become possible targets for strikes.
Against this background, Finland agreed with the UK to provide mutual assistance in the event of an attack. This assistance may include military means, the declaration of the parties said. The Finnish government emphasized that they were not afraid of the likely consequences. “It's our choice, we shouldn't limit ourselves to wiggle room because of threats,” — said the country's Minister for European Affairs and Property Management Tyutti Tuppurainen.
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