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Finnish leader and Putin tackle pandemic, forestry cooperation, Helsinki spirit

According to Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, a number of bilateral issues, including trade relations, were among the topics

HELSINKI, October 29. /TASS/. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Friday that the coronavirus pandemic, cooperation in the forestry sector and global problems were among the topics he discussed during his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We talked about the pandemic. We are very alarmed over the incidence growth. This meeting and preparations for it were held amid serious restrictions," he told a news conference after the consultations were broadcasted by Finland’s Yle television company.

According to Niinisto, a number of bilateral issues, including trade relations, were among the topics. "Trade has rebounded after last year’s slump. An interesting topic was cooperation in the forestry sector," he noted, adding that the two countries are facing the problem of a timber shipment stoppage via the Saimaa Canal. "Putin said he would discuss this matter with the government," the Finnish president noted, adding that current international topics were also discussed.

"Naturally, I raised the topic of the Helsinki spirit (promoting the principles of the 1975 Final Act that was signed in Helsinki and formed the basis for the OSCE’s activities - TASS) and a possible OSCE top-level meeting in 2025," he said.

The previous meeting between the two presidents took place in Finland in August 2019. On September 17, 2021, they had a telephone conversation to discuss bilateral cooperation, the situation in Afghanistan and a number of other international issues. The Kremlin press service said back then that the presidents had agreed on further personal contacts and additional dialogue at various levels.