President Niinistö in Brussels: We have to think how to improve relations with our big neighbour

SAULI NIINISTÖ

President Sauli Niinistö. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

President Sauli Niinistö visited Brussels on January 21-22 to meet the heads of various EU institutions.

Niinistö discussed the situation in Ukraine and developments in Russia and in the EU’s common security and defence policy.

He talked about the hybrid warfare as a concrete development target in common defence and the European security community. European citizens would no doubt appreciate the issue of security being raised as a European Union priority.

“The primary task of the EU is to secure life for all European citizens.”

“The primary task of the EU is to secure life for all European citizens,” Niinistö said at the joint press conference with the president of the EU commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

“To secure and free life to build up your destiny.”

The big neighbour

The future of the EU is linked to economic developments. The new commission is facing a very demanding task, said Niinistö, but he expressed confidence in the commission’s ability to rise to the challenge.

“It is very obvious that the Ukrainian crisis cannot be resolved very rapidly.”

There have been steps forward and backward during the crisis.

“The situation is very fragile. It is important that we are trying to do our best to gain peace in Ukraine. That’s the most important thing now. That is why the Minsk process and continuing it is the key issue.”

“In Finland, we are worried about the EU-Russia relationship, which has been affected very badly by Russia’s aggressiveness in Ukraine. Peace in Ukraine is the first step.  We also have to think how to improve relations with our big neighbour.”

MARTIN SCHULZ

Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

This was President Niinistö’s first visit to Brussels during his term of office.

During his visit he met in addition to Juncker, Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament and Jyrki Katainen, the commission vice-president.

 Source: The Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

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