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MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday he believed that Helsinki’s move to deny entry to the leader of Russia's parliamentary lower house was "legally flawed" but he hoped to maintain friendly ties between the two nations.
The Kremlin press service said in a statement reporting Putin’s telephone conversation with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto that the sides discussed the situation in bilateral relations after Finland’s entry ban on members of the official Russian delegation led by State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin who were due to attend an annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE PA) on July 5-9 in Helsinki.
"Putin noted the legal incorrectness of the decision made under pressure of some EU members," the Kremlin said.
At the same time, the Russian leader added that he hoped external factors would not affect Moscow’s good relations with Helsinki.
The two leaders "have expressed confidence that despite the influence of external factors, Russia and Finland will manage through concerted efforts to maintain good-neighborly and friendly relations between the two countries," the Kremlin said.
Putin and Niinisto "stressed the importance and urgency of agreements reached during Niinisto’s visit to Moscow on June 16, 2015," it said, adding that the presidents had also discussed specific projects of Russian-Finnish cooperation.
"The leaders also exchanged views on most pressing international issues, including Ukraine and the outcome of Vienna talks on Iran’s nuclear program," the Kremlin added.
The Kremlin said the call was initiated by Finland.