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MOSCOW, June 25 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to make a one-day official visit to Finland Tuesday for talks with his Finnish opposite number, Sauli Niinisto.
Also, he will attend the functions timed for the 60th anniversary since the establishment of twin-city ties between Leningrad/St Petersburg and Turku.
The two cities made up the first ‘Soviet-Finnish twin pair’ in 1953. At present there are more than 150 pairs of Russian-Finnish twin cities.
Putin and Niinisto made an arrangement to celebrate the jubilee then the Finnish President made a visit to Moscow in February.
The Russian President’s aide, Yuri Ushakov told reporters the Putin and Niinisto will meet at the latter man’s countryside residence in Kultaranta where three intergovernmental documents will be signed. They are an intergovernmental agreement on the transportation of hazardous commodities directly by railway across the Russian-Finish state border, an overhauled agreement on cooperation between the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Finnish Central Union of Business Life, and an agreement between the Skolkovo Foundation and the TEKES Agency for Technologies and Innovations.
After the signing the two Presidents are expected to address a joint news conference.
The talks will then continue in the format of a ‘working luncheon’ aboard a pleasure boat that will take the negotiators from Kultaranta to Turku. The distance between the two places by water is about 23 kilometers.
The Kremlin press service said earlier the two heads of state plans discussing bilateral cooperation, mitigation of the visa issuance procedures on both sides, and some less pressing
While in Turku, Putin and Niinisto are supposed to go to a central square where a personalized plate with Putin’s name will be laid down as a sign of recognition of Putin’s personal effort to protect the ecology of the Baltic Sea.
“After that the celebration itself will take place,” Ushakov said. “The Finnish President, the mayor of Turku and the Russian President will make speeches at it.”
Finland is a priority partner for Russia, which retains the first position in its foreign trade /14.1%/.Upon the results of the first quarter of 2013, bilateral trade totaled $ 5.9 billion marking a 3.5% increase versus the same period a year ago.
Cultural and humanitarian cooperation occupies a very special place in relationships between the two countries. Russian and Finnish officials and experts are currently considering an opportunity of holding joint events in 2017 on the occasion of Finland’s independence and the 150th anniversary since the birth of Gustav Mannerheim.
This is the third meeting between Putin and Niinisto, who has visited Russia twice since over the past twelve or so months.
Last June, the two Presidents not only held talks but also managed to play hockey. They decided to continue this sportive tradition in the future, too.