Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö was interviewed by national broadcasting company YLE’s TV programme Ykkösaamu last week. In the interview, he spoke about various topics, foreign affairs among them.
President Niinistö commented on the situation of the Koreas, saying that he hopes the positive development continues. However, he reminded that in international politics, winds can suddenly turn. He emphasised that the meeting between the leaders of the Koreas was significant, and if they start creating a peace treaty, it is also significant.
In addition, the President spoke about the war in Ukraine. According to him, it would be natural to lift the sanctions against Russia if the Minsk Treaty was implemented. It would require a solution to many difficult questions, in which progress has not really been made, the President reminded.
What comes to the gas attack in Syria, President Niinistö finds that it would be best to wait for the result of the investigation. However, the information received so far implies that the regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad is responsible for the attack. According to President Niinistö, Russia can affect al-Assad rather much, and it would be good if Russia used its influence so as to prevent similar events.
President Niinistö explained that in the next Kultaranta talks in Finland, he plans to focus on the better functionality of international organisations. He thinks that particularly small countries need to be consistent with highlighting the respect for international order.
President Niinistö has recently discussed with both President Putin and President Trump, and tried to find out how they feel about one another, because this is a valuable piece of information to Finland, too. The main topic in his conversation with President Trump was, however, the arctic region and its environmental problems.
Both Presidents Putin and Trump understand that there are environmental problems in the arctic region, and their views on this matter are rather similar, the President said. He believes that both countries would be ready to take measures to fix these problems.