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Niinistö to meet Putin twice in 2017

President Sauli Niinistö says that he will be meeting with his Russian counterpart once in Finland and once on Russian soil. He also commented on social media bullying in a TV1 broadcast on Saturday.

Sauli Niinistö
President Sauli Niinistö went on radio on Saturday to talk about political visits and social media excess. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

President Sauli Niinistö announced on Saturday in a television interview that he will be meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin twice over the course of the year.

One of the meetings is to take place in Finland, the other in Russia. Niinistö says that Putin's visit will likely be in the summer.

On the Ykkösaamu programme President Niinistö described the atmosphere in Finland as somewhat comfortable. However, he soon pointed out that another, murkier reality can be witnessed on social media.

"There is a lot of ill will, and conscious efforts to offend other people," he said. "I find it extremely unpleasant."

The president said he felt that those people who use the worst language about others online are probably those suffering the most.

President Niinistö also said that everyone would be better off if no one was to suffer. This, he says, is reason enough to concentrate on making people in Finland feel better.

The President's core message in Saturday's interview was that people should behave better towards one another, adding that "it isn't that hard".

Edit: President Niinistö was interviewed on Yle TV1's Ykkösaamu programme, not on radio as first reported

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