22:25 GMT +318 June 2019
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    Vladimir Putin meets with Tarja Halonen

    Dialogue Needed If West ‘Wants to Know What Putin Thinks About’ - Halonen

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    Dialogue between Russia and the West needed if Brussels and Washington want to know Russian President Vladimir Putin's opinion, ex-president of Finland Tarja Halonen told a Yle correspondent.

    "If you want to know what Putin thinks about now, and Americans certainly have this opportunity, [it is necessary] to maintain a dialogue and certainly know what Putin thinks. This is the best way. But now the United States is not keeping such a dialogue open."

    Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated following the escalation of the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The United States, the European Union and their allies accuse Russia of meddling in Ukraine's internal crisis, claims that Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    Halonen reminded that the European Union has been familiar with crises similar to the current situation in Ukraine for many years.

    "Maybe we have not learned anything from the Yugoslav crisis," she said.

    "Finland, Europe, as well as Americans and many others do not know how to respond to unusual military conflicts. In other words [how to react] when an uncomfortable incident happens somewhere, which is aggravating and expanding, then weapons appear, after some time external intervention and suddenly a situation, which is not based on agreements, arises."

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    Tags:
    Tarja Halonen, Vladimir Putin, Europe, United States, Ukraine, Russia, Yugoslavia
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