Monday, 18 February, 2019

Putin-Trump to meet in Helsinki on July 16

Niinistö deplores EU´s weakness ahead of summit

07 Jul 2018, 19:33 ( 7 Months ago) | updated: 07 Jul 2018, 19:46 ( 7 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
President Sauli Niinistö. File Photo President Office by Matti Porre.

With a week to go before the planned U.S.-Russian summit in Helsinki, President Sauli Niinistö on Saturday commented on the "risk that the U.S. and Russia try to agree on matters related to Europe".

Interviewed by Finnish language newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, Niinistö said the European Union is currently "not strong enough" and "not unified enough" as an actor on the international political scene.

"The United States and Russia must carry out bilateral talks, but in those talks they cannot interfere with European affairs bypassing Europe," he said.

Niinistö said he is concerned that the world gets "bipolarized" and international politics becomes personified.

But he is nevertheless optimistic about the Helsinki meeting and said he would appreciate if disarmament would emerge as one of the topics.

Niinistö said the upcoming NATO summit will tell a lot about the functionality of the contact between Europe and the United States. "Transatlantic relationship is important to Europe, not only to NATO countries," he said.

Niinistö said Finland is considering whether to participate in the joint European military "intervention forces" proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron. He said Finland would give its response after the summer.