According to President Sauli Niinistö, the dinner of the NATO leaders was a much happier affair than the horror scenarios had been suggesting. Mr Niinistö said he was quite optimistic about the prospects. There was no talk of NATO dissolving, and the discussion actually suggested the opposite.
Mr Niinistö said that President Donald Trump spoke extensively about the relations with North Korea, and otherwise followed the debate closely. Mr Trump did not mention Russia. He also did not tell NATO partners about his expectations regarding his upcoming summit with the Russian President Vladimir Putin, since no one asked him, Mr Niinistö said.
He stressed that this was not a preparatory meeting for the Helsinki summit, but confirmed that he had briefly talked with Mr Trump about Finland. Mr Trump’s relationship with Russia has remained a mystery, which is why a lot of expectations have been put on the meeting with Mr Putin.
Russia was one of the three themes discussed at the summit. NATO’s attitude towards Russia has been on two tracks in recent years: dialogue had been maintained, but also fears. According to Niinistö, the debate oriented in this direction.
Media: Turun Sanomat
Journalist: Anniina Luotonen