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Finnish President hopes for Ukraine ceasefire; to meet Poroshenko next

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö says that a ceasefire should be on the agenda for Ukraine. Speaking at the conclusion of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Niinistö said trust was absolutely necessary if the guns are to be silenced. Niinistö will travel from Sochi to Kiev to meet Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Saturday.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistö tapasi Venäjän presidentti Vladimir Putinin 15. elokuuta 2014.
Presidentti Sauli Niinistö tapasi Venäjän presidentti Vladimir Putinin 15. elokuuta 2014. Image: Yle

In his address to media representatives, President Niinistö said that the Ukrainian crisis had far-reaching implications, adding that it was a catastrophe, and not just for Ukraine. He said that trust was absolutely necessary for any ceasefire to be negotiated.

“Russia must also ensure that no armed forces cross the border,” Niinistö added.

The Finnish President said that the recent flurry of sanctions had affected economies globally.

“The reason for the sanctions has been the crisis in Ukraine and that is why we spoke a great deal about resolving the crisis,” he explained.

Cooling relations between Russia and the EU

Niinistö said that the situation in Ukraine had far-reaching repercussions, adding that he was concerned that relations between Russia and the European Union had cooled.

“Today we have heard that an aid convoy is proceeding towards those suffering in eastern Ukraine and that there has been some understanding between Russia, Ukraine and the Red Cross on its delivery. Hopefully this is a sign of the possibility of finding mutual trust, because that will be needed for the next step, which should be a ceasefire in Ukraine,” Niinistö remarked.

The President said that at the moment there seemed to be a common effort towards settling the situation.

He ended his statement by bringing up Finland’s offer of assistance.

“Finally you may remember that Finland has been and is still prepared to make good on its offer of providing services if they are of any benefit in taking things forward,” the President said.

Niinistö will continue from Sochi to Kiev for discussions with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko Saturday afternoon. Those talks are expected to focus on the situation in Ukraine. The pair will meet at the invitation of President Poroshenko.

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