Finland determined to maintain its good standing with the Kremlin, so the visit of Vladimir Putin became the important fact in the relations of two countries. Russian president visits Finland for centenary celebrations.
In 1917, Finland declared its independence from Russia, two years after, the Russian leader Vladimir Putin visits Helsinki. The Russian President was warmly welcomed on Thursday with his counterpart Sauli Niinisto, it is the second meeting of the leaders in this year.
Both presidents intend to discuss many issues of the economic and foreign policy, Finland seems determined to maintain its good standing with the powerful Russian Federation. Many countries of EU including Finland have condemned “the illegal annexation of Crimea” and backs EU sanctions against Russia but at the same time, Europe has the vested interest in keeping the dialogue with Kremlin alive.
Finland, Russia and NATO
Finland and Russia are sharing an extensive border (1,300 km), and agenda of presidential talks on Thursday includes an issue of NATO presence as well. Regardless, a majority of Finns do not support accession to NATO because of a deep-rooted belief in military non-alignment. Mr Putin did not hold back his view on the issue, saying that “NATO perhaps would gladly fight with Russia until the last Finnish soldier”.
and besides the security aspect, Finland exports some $3 billion worth of goods to its eastern neighbour, which is its third largest trade partner. Expect the visit to produce some economic deals, but no meaningful initiative on changing the precarious security situation.