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Niinistö hopes for stronger US ties under Biden

The president said he hopes that the Capitol attack spurred Americans to realise that hatred has gone too far.

Sauli Niinistö met with Joe Biden at the Munich security conference in early 2018. Image: Tasavallan presidentin kanslia

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said he hopes that bilateral relationships will strengthen once again under the new United States administration.

Niinistö said that Joe Biden's inaugural address had emphasised traditional American values and dedication.

"In my view the element that ran through it was dedication, that Biden is really dedicating himself to America's affairs. There was a message of unity, a message of discussion, a message of truth. Quite traditional American virtues," Niinistö told Yle.

"Clearly America's new president is dedicating himself to building and restoring a unified America," said Niinistö.

Niinistö said that the US election revealed the depth of disagreement and a direct hatred that is incompatible with democracy.

"Difference of opinion is essential in voting, but one must know how to keep it reined in," he said.

Capitol attack even worse than it looked

According to the president, the attack on the Capitol in early January was serious and that the day's events were worse than initially thought.

"It was a culmination of all the negative thinking about what disagreement means. It can mean direct violence. It may have awakened many Americans to realise that now this has gone too far," he speculated.

Niinistö congratulated Biden via Twitter, saying that "Finland looks forward to working with you and your administration, to solve global problems together and to further strengthen our bilateral and transatlantic relationships."