Finnish President Sauli Niinistö will receive Russian President Vladimir Putin at the official residence in Naantali today. On the agenda are Finnish-Russian relations, Russia-EU relations and international issues.
From Naantali on the southwestern coast, Putin continues to nearby Turku, Finland's oldest city.
There are several issues that the Finns hope will be discussed. According to Markku Kangaspuro, deputy director of the University of Helsinki’s Aleksanteri Institute, a centre of research and study on Russia and Eastern Europe, economic affairs will likely be the focus of the meeting, and politics and human rights issues are less likely to be discussed. Kangaspuro was interviewed on Yle 1's morning news television broadcast.
One of the topics that Finns hope will be discussed is timber imports from Russia to Finland. While imports have decreased in recent years, Russia is a very significant player in the market.
The Finnish forestry industry says that Russia continues to violate wood import regulations despite joining the World Trade Organization last August. Disputes continue over trade and supply - Finland would like to import more softwood from Russia.