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Finnish President to meet US, Russian deputy foreign ministers

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is expected to meet the US Under Secretary of State and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister separately on Monday and Tuesday. The meetings will precede bilateral talks to be held between the US and Russian deputy foreign ministers to take place in Helsinki later this week.

Venäjän varaulkoministeri Sergei Rjabkov ja Yhdysvaltain apulaisulkoministeri Thomas Shannon.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (left) and US Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon will be in Helsinki for bilateral talks this week. Image: Youssef Badawi / EPA, Wael Hamzeh / EPA

President Sauli Niinistö is meets United States Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon on Monday afternoon, according to the Finnish news agency STT.

Following Monday’s face-to-face, Niinistö has a similar encounter with Shannon’s Russian opposite number, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Tuesday.

Niinistö’s one-on-one meetings will precede meetings between both guests later this week. Shannon and Ryabkov are scheduled to meet in Helsinki for talks on bilateral relations on Thursday.

Meetings shrouded in secrecy

However neither country’s embassy has so far confirmed a precise time and place for the meeting. It is also not clear whether the subject matter of the discussions will be revealed.

Shannon and Ryabkov have met before, but those discussions have not lead to any clear result. According to the news agency AP, the bilateral discussions will focus on strategic relations and arms control, among other issue.

According to the US State Department this week’s discussions between Shannon and Niinistö are a continuation of exchanges that took place during Niinistö’s recent visit to the White House.

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