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SOCHI, August 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kremlin has noted negative dynamics in Russian-Finnish trade and economic relations, despite the fact that both Moscow and Helsinki are critical of sanction wars, the presidential press service said in a statement ahead of the meeting between the leaders of the two states, Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinisto, in Sochi on Friday.
"Bilateral relations have recently shown negative trends," the press service said. "Observing the principle of European solidarity, Finland joined the sanction pressure on Russia which had a negative impact on the whole range of Russian-Finnish ties."
Trade between Russia and Finland plunged by 8% to $83 billion in the first six months of 2014 year on year. The partners suspended or cancelled several joint events such as the session of the Russian-Finnish intergovernmental economic cooperation commission in Turku on March 27.
Finland estimates that it was hardest hit by Russian sanctions compared to other EU states. The document the Kremlin has drawn ahead of the Putin-Niinisto meting underlines that the Finnish government, in official statements to the European Commission and European partners, did not support new sanctions against Russia.
The leaders are expected to consider the situation in Ukraine. "Niinisto personally supervises Finland's position viewing the Ukrainian crisis as a key international problem. The president and the government have had four meetings to discuss this topic in the past six months," the Kremlin said. "In a telephone conversation, Putin and Niinisto have discussed a peaceful settlement of the acute political crisis in Ukraine."
Since July, both leaders have been urging soonest ceasefire and dialogue between the parties, it said.