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Niinistö plays down possible Trump-Putin meeting in Finland

President Sauli Niinistö has played down the chances of a summit between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Finland, after the Russian President suggested on Thursday he was open to the idea.

Vladimir Putin ja Sauli Niinistö Venäjän Arkangelissa torstaina 30. maaliskuuta.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Arkhangelsk, Russia at the International Arctic Forum on Thursday. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

Finland might host a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, according to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, but it won't be any time soon. That was the message from Niinistö at a hastily-arranged press conference in Helsinki called the day after he'd attended a panel discussion with the Russian leader in Arkhangelsk.

During that debate, hosted by the International Arctic Forum, Putin had agreed with the moderator that a meeting with the new US president in Finland would be a good idea.

Finland takes over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council for a two-year term in May. Niinistö said on Friday that a summit of the Arctic Council had been discussed with several other member states, but nothing had been agreed yet.

"The idea that a summit could happen at this notice is impossible," said Niinistö.

Niinistö said that he had been working towards a summit of the Arctic Council in Finland for more than a year, but nothing concrete had yet been agreed.

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