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Finnish leader hopes for open dialogue with Russia

August 14, 2014, 18:31 UTC+3 HELSINKI
“We have contacted our Western partners, and they have shown understanding of this meeting,” Finnish President Sauli Niinisto says
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Finnish President Sauli Niinisto

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto

© EPA/PATRICK SEEGER

HELSINKI, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, who will meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coast, on Friday, said he hoped for an open dialogue with Russia to settle the conflict in Ukraine.

“It will benefit all of us if the existing distrust disappears,” Niinisto told a news conference in Helsinki. “As president of Finland, I felt I should do something. Many people asked whether Finland was capable of taking steps.”

“We have contacted our Western partners, and they have shown understanding of this meeting,” the president said. “I hope we will be able to start an open and honest discussion. I do not consider myself a great peacemaker but I believe it is highly important to open a dialogue.”

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