18:08 GMT +322 September 2018
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    Finland. Helsinki. Monument to Emperor Alexander II on the Cathedral square.

    Finnish President Tells German Media That He Does Not See Russia as a Threat

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    President Vladimir Putin has praised Finland’s security policy for providing the “optimum model for guaranteed and sustainable good relations for nonaligned countries.”

    Finnish President Sauli Niinisto does not consider Russia a threat. In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine, he said that Russia has no reason whatsoever to attack Finland, that’s why he has no desire to join NATO.

    “I don’t think Russia will invade the Baltic States. Neither has it any intention to attack Finland,” Niinisto noted.

    He added that the disagreements he has with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin do not prevent a constructive dialogue because Russia respects Finland’s position.

    "Russia knows our position and is not trying to change it. They know that we can be very stubborn. Even so, we have no problems maintaining good relations with the Russian Federation,” Niinisto emphasized.

    The Finnish president also recalled the advice he gave US President Donald Trump before his meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki in July.

    "You have to be very careful when you meet Putin. He is always very well prepared," Sauli Niinisto said.

    In late August, President Putin invited his Finnish colleague to hold talks in an informal atmosphere on the presidential yacht Chaika.

    The two earlier met on July 27, 2017 in the Finnish city of Savonlinna, where Vladimir Putin was invited to attend celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence.

    READ MORE: Finland-Russia Ties Intensifying — Finnish President

    At its July 2016 summit in Warsaw, NATO decided to send international battalions to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to deter alleged Russian aggression.

    Reacting to NATO's move, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow has no plans to attack any NATO member.

    Related:

    Russia Concerned by Efforts to Draw Finland, Sweden Into NATO - Defense Minister
    Finland-Russia Ties Intensifying - Finnish President
    Tags:
    constructive dialogue, "Russian threat", Finnish president, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Sauli Niinisto, Finland
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