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The President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö met the Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov at Kultaranta on Tuesday 10 June. The meeting dealt with issues such as the situation in Ukraine and Russia’s views on how the acute crisis can be resolved and how a resolution to the crisis could be achieved.
“Foreign Minister Lavrov stated that Russia respects the electoral result of Ukraine and that they now expect a proposal from President Poroshenko on a ceasefire and measures in line with that aim. I appealed that Russia would do everything possible to calm the situation and also take measures that it does not view purely as its duty,” President Niinistö told the media after the meeting.
The second set of issues revolved around the fundamental relationship between the EU and Russia and how to get the relationship back on track. President Niinistö said that Finland, as an EU member state, cannot play a particular role as a mediator, but that Finland has for a long time made efforts to make the relationship between the EU and Russia more functional. “This would benefit both Russia and the EU and especially Finland. We will continue in this direction,” President Niinistö stated.
There was also discussion on the bilateral relations between Finland and Russia. “We stated that there are no particular problems in the bilateral relationship, but the fact that there are problems in the cooperation between the EU and Russia – and Finland as a member of the EU – obviously remains in the background”, President Niinistö said.