Russian news agency quotes President Niinistö wrong on a sensitive subject

President Sauli Niinistö. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

President Sauli Niinistö. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

The original headline by the Russian news agency Interfax read like this:

“Finnish president suggested a total “isolation of Russia”.

Niinistö was quoted saying this in the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, while attending a panel discussion with three other presidents: Rosen Plevneliev from Bulgaria, Dalia Grybauskaite from Lithuania and Petro Poroshenko from Ukraine.

In reality, according to the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland, President Niinistö said:

“I know what is not good: Russia should not be allowed to break the international rules without consequences. But Russia should not be totally isolated either.”

The wrongly quoted headline spread across the Russian media during the weekend.

Finland sent an official request for correction to Interfax and on Sunday morning the news article was corrected, however, under private eyes, without including that the article had been corrected and keeping the date and the time of the original news the same.

“Most certainly the error was not done on purpose. I presume that it was an error in translation, the words of the president were not understood correctly,” an anonymous chief editor said to Helsingin Sanomat.

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