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President Niinistö shrugs off concerns of damage from documents leak

President Sauli Niinistö said Tuesday that he has seen no indications that recent news of a leak of classified security documents to the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat would have had an impact on Finland's credibility within the western intelligence community.

Presidentti Sauli Niinistö.
Sauli Niinistö considers the leak of classified documents a serious matter, but not internationally damaging. Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

On Saturday the daily Helsingin Sanomat published a controversial story in which it used highly classified documents to report on a key site used by Finnish military intelligence. The publication has led to high-level criticism from the government and sparked a police investigation into the leak.

Speaking Tuesday after a meeting of the cabinet's Committee on Foreign and Security Policy, where the leak was discussed, President Niinistö said he has seen no indications of negative impacts internationally.

"I, at least, have not heard any fire alarms going off in the West because of this," said Niinistö.

The President added that he also does not believe that the leak has affected Finland's relations with Russia.

Investigations moving forward

Tuesday's meeting of Committee on Foreign and Security Policy, led by the President, was briefed by representatives of the Defence Forces and the National Bureau of Investigation.

"Investigations are moving forward. There are two different lines of inquiry, one related to the leak and one related to the article by Helsingin Sanomat," Niinistö explained.

President Niinistö also said that the seriousness of leak will be thoroughly evaluated.

Niinistö further stated the hope that new intelligence legislation that is being considered in Parliament will help rectify the general situation regarding intel.

"The situation will likely improve in terms of intelligence gathering, oversight of intelligence access and oversight of the means of intelligence gathering," said President Niinistö.

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