SOCHI, August 15 (RIA Novosti) — While Russia remains Finland’s number one trade and economic partner, trade turnover is shrinking not only because of political, but economic difficulties, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto on Friday.
“Relations between Russia and Finland have always been very friendly and business-like, Finnish businesses have invested a lot into Russian economy," Putin said. “I hope that Finnish investors feel generally comfortable in Russia."
Putin noted that the existing problems “were caused not only by political difficulties but also by purely economic reasons.”
The Finnish president also stressed the history of warm relations between the two countries.
“Our relations traditionally developed on an upward trend, now the situation is different,” Niinisto said, and expressed hope for a resolution to the Ukrainian crisis.
Putin signed a decree banning imports of agricultural and food products from countries that imposed sanctions on Russia for a year. Asking the Cabinet to think of countermeasures to the most recent economic penalties against Russia, Putin urged its members make sure that the measures support domestic manufacturers and have no “detriment to consumers."
The United States and the European Union have been imposing sanctions against Russian officials and companies since Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March, accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.