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Finnish and Russian presidents in call on European security, Ukraine

Finland's Sauli Niinistö and Russia's Vladimir Putin had what was described as a "long and thorough call" focused on European security and Ukraine.

President Sauli Niinistö giving his traditional New Year 's speech 1 January 2022. Image: Roni Rekomaa / Lehtikuva

President Sauli Niinistö and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation on Friday about about geopolitics, including European security and the situation in Ukraine.

In a tweet posted on Friday morning, Niinistö described their discussion as "long and thorough". The President's Office in Helsinki later said in a release that President Niinistö expressed his serious concern over the current situation and emphasised that it is imperative to preserve peace in Europe, and stressed the need to find solutions by means of the ongoing dialogue.

President Niinistö pointed out in the discussion that Finland exercises full sovereignty over its security policy.

According to the release, the discussion took place on Finland's initiative.

Last Tuesday evening, President Niinistö spoke with US President Joe Biden by phone about the security situation in Europe. That call took place on the US president's initiative.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday for talks on Ukraine.