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President Niinistö congratulates Trump, PM asks VP-elect for meeting

President Sauli Niinistö has congratulated Donald Trump on his victory in the US Presidential election. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä says that he was surprised by Trump's win, but said that Finland should now begin to build relations with the incoming administration.

Valtakunnallisen maanpuolustuskurssin avajaiset. Kuvassa Tasavalla presidentti Sauli Niinistö.
President Sauli Niinistö addressing a national defence course on Monday. File photo. Image: Jarno Kuusinen / AOP

President of Finland Sauli Niinistö has congratulated Donald Trump on his win in the US Presidential election. Niinistö said in a statement that Finnish-US relations are closer than ever before, and that should continue.

“I congratulate Donald Trump and wish him wisdom in his demanding, globally-significant task as President of the United States,” Niinistö said.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä said Finland should move as quickly as possible to build relations with the new Trump administration.

Good relations

“It’s extremely important for Finland that bilateral relations continue and we continue building good relations,” said Sipilä.

Sipilä said that he had already sent a message of congratulation to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and that letter included an invitation to meet.

At the same time, the PM said that the new president will not change Finnish security policy or relations with NATO. Even relations between Finland and Russia won’t be significantly affected, according to Trump.

“The relevant thing is that security policy continues as normal,” said Sipilä. “In the Baltic Sea region Finland is a security actor, and as a non-aligned country along with Sweden we create stability with our actions.”

"Change is opportunity"

Relations between Russia and the US might be affected by the election result, with new doors possibly opening to a resolution of the Syrian war.

“Change is opportunity,” said Sipilä. “Hopefully this change can be used to make big change possible in Syria, so that we could resolve this long-running war.”

Sipilä also noted that during the campaign there was ‘unfortunately’ little information available on the policies of the incoming administration. The premier said that he was surprised by the result, but he was used to that by now.

“The polls were pretty off on the Brexit result as well, so I thought that this could give the same kind of result,” said Sipilä.

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