HomePoliticsPresident Niinistö Calls Merkel, Then Putin Tony Öhberg 10/07/2016 Politics, Russia 914 President Sauli Niinistö and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel met in Mäntyniemi on March 30 2015. Picture: The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland On Wednesday, October 5, President Sauli Niinistö called German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The president and chancellor had a serious discussion about Syria, particularly the catastrophic situation in Aleppo, and what can be done to end the suffering there. They also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the prospects for the implementation of the Minsk peace agreement. The discussion was held on Finland’s initiative. President Niinistö and President Putin talking at the president’s official summer residence Kultaranta in Naantali, Finland on July 1, 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today On Thursday, President Niinistö picked up the phone again and dialed the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Niinistö informed Putin of his deep concern about the Syrian crisis, particularly the suffering in Aleppo and the killing of innocent civilians. President Niinistö stated that Russia is in a key position to end the catastrophe. The presidents also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the need to make progress in implementing the Minsk Agreement. On the subject of Russia’s Year of the Environment in 2017, they affirmed that a joint solution was being sought to the Krasnyi Bor issue of finding cost-efficient solutions to remediate the pollution from the large waste landfill in St. Petersburg. With respect to flight safety, it was concluded that discussions between Russia and NATO would continue. The telephone conversation was held on Finland’s initiative.