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HELSINKI, June 15. /TASS/. Finland denies media reports alleging that it plans some kind of consultations behind closed doors with Russia on the problem of its relations with NATO, the Office of President Sauli Niinisto said on Tuesday night.
In this way, the Finnish officials commented on an article in Defense News where a source at the Foreign Ministry in Helsinki was quoted saying these consultations would preceded Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Finland.
The Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov said earlier preparations for the visit were underway.
"It’s true that we’re preparing the visit and when there’s the final understanding of its dates, we’ll issue an appropriate notification," he said.
A spokesman for the Presidential Office in Helsinki said the assertions on the contents of the summit meeting agenda looked bizarre and ungrounded while the preparations were underway in the normal mode.
Vesa Hakkinen, the official spokesman for the Finnish Foreign Ministry also said he was unaware of any consultations with Russia regarding NATO.
Ilkka Kanerva, the chief of the parliamentary committee for defense told Helsingin Sanomat newspaper he could not understand what the Defense News report was grounded in. He said he had never spoken to Defense News, although the magazine claimed it had received a confirmation on the consultations from him.
Defense News claimed in an article published last week Russia and Finland were launching consultations behind closed doors to alleviate Moscow’s growing concerns over the deepening of relations between NATO and the countries of northern Europe that are not members of the pact.