SOCHI, August 22. /Basereporter.com/. The presidents of Russia and Finland Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinistö discussed the possibilities of further development of bilateral ties. The Russian President described the talks as “very substantive”.
At the meeting, in particular, they talked about security in Northern Europe. We also touched on the issues of settlement in Syria and in the South-East of Ukraine.
As announced at a press conference following the talks Vladimir Putin, they discussed the problems of the Arctic, first of all, given the current presidency of Finland in the Arctic Council.
The President of the Russian Federation expressed the view that the talks with Finnish counterpart “will contribute to the further development of bilateral relations”.
Putin recalled that in the second half of 2019 Finland will lead the EU. “I very much hope that during the Finnish presidency will also be able to do something positive in order to restore the normal state of relations between Russia and the EU,” the Russian leader said, answering the question Basereporter.com.
The Arctic theme
Great attention was paid to Arctic issues. “I understand that we both are ready to take part in the Arctic summit, if it happens,” – said at a press conference the President of Finland. It is Sauli Niinistö, speaking in March 2017 at the forum “Arctic – territory of dialogue” in Arkhangelsk, was proposed to host an Arctic summit.
The Finnish President is confident that the Arctic is necessary to keep free from political controversy. Still, he said, “the work of the Arctic Council was extremely productive, a good example of this is the fact that, in particular, Russia and the United States found much in common in Arctic cooperation”. Niinistö pointed out that the Chairman of the Board “focuses on the fact that this good attitude continued”.
The Russian President also confirmed that Russia is ready to participate in the Arctic summit. Answering the question Basereporter.com Putin expressed the opinion that the subject of discussion at the summit should be the rules of economic activity, safety of navigation and the conservation of Arctic flora and fauna. He stressed that many animals in the Arctic was in a difficult position in connection with the melting of the ice.
In addition, the Russian leader expressed confidence that the scientists of all countries of the Arctic region could unite their efforts in the organization of different levels of research in the field of environmental change and in conservation of natural diversity. Meanwhile, Putin said that such initiatives should be supported at the state level.
Arctic summit would address the subject of conservation ecology and use of LNG in Maritime transport in the Arctic, noted in turn Niinistö. “I have already said that if you melt the Arctic ice cap, we lose the entire planet. So the first, maybe the simplest step would be the suppression of black carbon (soot the product of incomplete combustion emitted into the atmosphere from diesel engines, coal-fired power plants and other sources burning fossil fuels – approx. Basereporter.com). Currently, some measures, for example on the territory of the Kola Peninsula, in the transition to less harmful to the environment fuel in thermal power plants”, – said the Finnish President
Forced to respond
Touching upon the issue of ensuring security in the region, Putin said that Russia welcomed the initiatives to reduce tensions, but is forced to respond to the promotion infrastructure of NATO and the emergence of elements of a missile defense system (NMD) of the U.S. near its borders.
Answering a question from a Finnish journalist, the Russian leader noted that Russia does not impose its troops to the NATO countries, and NATO’s military infrastructure approaching Russian borders. “Right now planned a very large NATO exercise, right here in our immediate vicinity, including in the area of the Baltic sea”, – said the head of state.
“Of course, we must see what is happening there, strengthening our infrastructure. We must respond to the fact that our borders within easy reach, there are elements of the us missile defence system”, – Putin said, noting that the US ABM system can be used, including for launches of medium-range missiles.
However, continued the President, “we welcome the proposal of the President of Finland to reduce any tension (in the region), in particular this applies to the flights of combat aircraft (to include transponders on them – approx. Basereporter.com)”.
Putin recalled that the international civil aviation organization (ICAO) “has developed certain rules, but military aviation is not covered, it is only Advisory in nature.” “We are ready to discuss with our NATO partners, but they refuse. Think it’s unconstructive position. We hope that it will be changed”, – said the President of the Russian Federation.
“I don’t think the idea of improving security in the Baltic sea area died. Of course not. On the contrary, it becomes even more important in recent years. But there are some purely technical problems associated with the fact that the Russian aviation and aircraft of NATO countries uses a slightly different technique, and that the subject of discussion at the expert level,” Putin said.
Ready for fair competition
Was not overlooked at the press conference and the question of the project “Northern stream – 2”. “This project, which Europe needs,” – said the President of the Russian Federation. “The most important thing is that the consumption of [gas], including in Europe, are growing. Gazprom, for example, almost 13% last year, increased deliveries to the countries of the European Union,” he said, adding that “own resources of the European countries – in Norway and in other countries, and in the UK are being depleted”. “It’s just, that is, medical fact,” – said Putin.
Russia, he said, is ready to compete with other gas suppliers to the European market. The Russian leader expressed the hope “for fair competition in the framework of existing international legal norms.”
Meanwhile, Putin expressed the opinion that Russia is the optimal for European gas supplier. “The scale of Russian gas supplies to Europe and such a distance, between the sources of this gas, between points of production and points of delivery, Russia is the best supplier of [gas] for the European economy”, – he said. According to the President of the Russian Federation, the volume of shipments and value of the route are the key indicators in this business.
The summit in Helsinki
Journalists interested in as the President of the Russian Federation evaluates held in Helsinki on 16 July meeting with his American counterpart Donald trump. “I evaluate it positively and believe that it was useful,” – said the Russian leader. He stressed that “no one expected that in a two-hour conversation we will be able to resolve all the issues that still was controversial.”
“President trump has expressed its position on these issues, I do mine, – said Putin. But the exchange of opinions, direct conversation is always very useful.”
Speaking of entered Washington’s sanctions against Russia, the Russian President expressed the opinion that “it is not only the position of President of the United States, it’s in the position of the so-called establishment, the ruling class in the broad sense of the word.” “We hope the awareness that this policy [sanctions against Russia] has no prospects, yet ever will come to our American partners, and we will start working in a normal regime”, – said Putin.
“As for sanctions [the United States against Russia], the action is counterproductive and meaningless, especially against a country like Russia,” – said the Russian head of state.