President Niinistö and Berzins: Finnish and Latvian citizens are afraid

President Sauli Niinistö holds bilateral talks with his Latvian counterpart, President Andris Bērziņš at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, January 28 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

President Sauli Niinistö holds bilateral talks with his Latvian counterpart, President Andris Bērziņš at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, January 28 2015. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

HELSINKI – President Sauli Niinistö held bilateral talks with his Latvian counterpart, President Andris Berzins, at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday morning.

Topics included the bilateral relations between the countries, regional and EU cooperation and current security policy issues.

“The Latvian delegation is exceptionally large,” Niinistö said while looking at the crowd of dozens in the press conference at the Hall of Mirrors at noon.

“This tells about our close cooperation between our countries which is getting even closer as we speak,” Niinistö said.

Niinistö was pleased about the open dialog he had with Berzins, beyond bilateral talks also.

“We discussed Ukraine, and how it reflects on the European situation and the tensions around the Baltic Sea.”

The presidents discussed topics such as energy and the hybrid world.

“We talked about a new environment what can be called the hybrid world where there are problems and we need common mechanisms to face the hybrid world.”

In a hybrid world model continuously changing business needs and customer demands require companies to look beyond one-size-fits all IT infrastructure solutions.

Worried citizens

Berzins said that in terms of safety the situation is the same in Latvia and Finland.

The current events in Ukraine worry the citizens.

“I hope that all nations involved are trying to find a solution to this senseless warfare in eastern Ukraine where a lot of civilians die and suffer.”

“I hope that all nations involved are trying to find a solution to this senseless warfare in eastern Ukraine where a lot of civilians die and suffer,” Berzins said.

The presidents were asked if they expect the European Union foreign ministers, who meet in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine,  to come up with new sanctions against Russia regarding the continuing warfare in Ukraine.

“According to my understanding everybody is very carefully following what is going on. Is there a dramatic change in the picture we have seen during the autumn, and the solution should be based on that,” Niinistö said.

Do you feel threatened by the Kremlin, a Latvian journalist asked President Niinistö?

“We haven’t met any direct threat from Moscow.”

“We haven’t met any direct threat from Moscow. But surely what has been happening in Ukraine worries a lot and there are a lot of people in Finland who are also afraid and feel themselves threatened,” Niinistö said.

The topic of the 30 killed civilians in the eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol on last Saturday was also raised.

“We have to carefully follow what is going to happen after Mariupol. If there is a clear change compared with the autumn time which has already been sanctioned, in my opinion it’s very clear new sanctions have to been put [against Russia],” President Niinistö said.

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