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President Niinistö in Germany: If Diplomacy No Longer Works, We Have a Big Problem in Our Hands

President Niinistö in Germany: If Diplomacy No Longer Works, We Have a Big Problem in Our Hands

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President Sauli Niinistö speaking at the panel discussion on arms control at the Munich Security Conference. Picture: Katri Makkonen/Office of the President of the Republic

President Sauli Niinistö participated in a panel discussion on arms control at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

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The panel discussed the termination of the INF Treaty, which bans intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

The INF Treaty banned land-based missiles with ranges of 500-5,500 kilometers. It was signed between the US and Russia in 1987. In February 2019, the US suspended the treaty, and so did Russia the following day.

“If we end up in a situation where diplomacy no longer works, we will all have a big problem in our hands.”

President Sauli Niiistö

At the conference, President Niinistö noted that the recent developments have consequences beyond the treaty itself.

“What concerns me the most is the notion that international treaties are dismantled without even thinking of an alternative to replace them. If we end up in a situation where diplomacy no longer works, we will all have a big problem in our hands,” Niinistö said to the Finnish media. “Are we now witnessing the end of diplomacy? Without diplomacy, there is no dialogue. It makes things difficult, not knowing what the other side is thinking.”

President Niinistö reminded the audience that the demise of the INF Treaty represents a problem for Europe even if the continent is not a signatory to the agreement itself.

He presented a thought in a panel that the United States and Russia could agree alternative arrangements to ensure that nuclear weapons subject to the INF Treaty are not positioned in a way as to represent a threat to Europe.

President Niinistö also mentioned that Europe should be able to act together with determination and credibility. “How do we create a strong Europe that remains respected? We must find a way to speak with one unified voice. You can’t have influence if there is always someone disagreeing,” he said.

President Niinistö attended the Munich Security Conference on Friday and Saturday, February 15-16, 2019.

In conjunction with his visit, he met with Rose Gottemoeller, the deputy secretary general of NATO, Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy and the United States Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Chris Coons.

Organized since 1963, the Munich Security Conference is an independent discussion forum seeking to promote resolution of conflicts, international cooperation and dialogue.

Nearly 500 representatives of foreign and security policy from around the world will participate in the conference.

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2 Comments

  1. Macs

    Mr karkkainen when there is a country destabilising other country’s and governments when there is a country putting missiles a n guns closed to the border of other country the nuclear treaty as been broken by the USA first you say……. Finland need nuclear weapons
    Hahaha you are a laugh
    You are as you were 70 years ago an expendible country and expendible people

  2. Steven Karkkainen

    When one party to a nuclear arms treaty continually breaks the terms of said treaty, we have a problem. When a party to a nuclear arms treaty invades a neighboring country, we have a problem. When a party to a nuclear arms indiscriminately murders/assasinates people in free nations with ricin, we have a problem. I could go on and on talking about the international laws broken by Russia (a.k.a. Soviet Union) but would talking about it diplomatically solve anything? No, I think not! China, North Korea, and the Soviets ( I prefer Soviet Union not Russia as it still is a country with a Communist dictator in charge) are all developing more weapons of mass destruction. The time for diplomacy has passed. The time to develop your own weapons is right. It seems that this is the only “diplomacy” the Soviets understand. Why do they not understand that nuclear war will be the end of the human race? They all have insane leaders with limited rational mental capability, that’s why. So wake up Finland! Develope your ownnuclear arsenal before the Soviets cross your border.

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