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Newly appointed Finland president says he sees no point in meeting with Putin

Stubb won the presidential election in Finland on 11 February, the first one since the country joined NATO on 4 April 2023.
Alexander Stubb will officially assume office on 1 March. Credit: Politico
Newly appointed Finland president says he sees no point in meeting with Putin

Alexander Stubb, Finland’s newly elected president, said that he does not see any prospects for political dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin as long as Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, BBC reported on 12 February.

Stubb, a conservative former prime minister, won Finland’s presidential election on 11 February with 51.6% of the vote. His rival, Green Party candidate Pekka Haavisto, conceded defeat after capturing 48.4% of the vote.

“It’s rather self-evident that it’s difficult to have any kind of political dialogue with Putin as long as Russia is waging an aggressive war against Ukraine,” said Stubb. “So, I don’t see any kind of communication with Putin or with the Russian political leadership in the near future.”

The election was Finland’s first since the country joined the NATO military alliance on 4 April 2023, a move Stubb has characterized as a “done deal” after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow did not know whether Putin would congratulate Stubb due to Finland’s “unfriendly position.”

“Finland is currently on Russia’s list of unfriendly countries. It fully supports sanctions (against Russia),” Peskov said.

Finland extended the closure of its border with Russia for another month amid concerns that the Kremlin is trying to undermine the Nordic country’s security by sending thousands of migrants over the frontier, Euronews reported earlier in February.

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