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“My favorite is Clinton,” said Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) when he was asked about his favorite candidate in the U.S. presidential election while visiting Stockholm on Tuesday.
According to Sipilä, Centre Party enjoys mutual cooperation with the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s Democrats. He added that he might stay up on Tuesday night watching the elections after the Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, in which he participated with his Swedish counterpart, Stefan Löfven.
However, Hillary Clinton lost, and on Wednesday morning at Finnish time Donald Trump from the Republican party was elected as the president of the United States.
Today at the Government Palace in a press conference about the U.S. presidential elections, Sipilä was asked if he is bothered by his statement on Tuesday. “Heh. Well, that was my guess yesterday like many other guessed in Finland,” he said, looking surprisingly fresh and well-slept. “The result of the elections is very clear, and we all respect that. That is a matter that is as clear as a day.”
Sipilä had listened to Trump’s victory speech in the car and had even sent a congratulatory letter to Governor Mike Pence on his election as the U.S. vice president.
In his letter, Sipilä said that “the transatlantic tie between Europe and the United States is essential for security and stability, the economy, and addressing global challenges successfully.” He also expressed his confidence of a deepening relationship between Finland and the United States “through cooperation on a broad agenda.” He also wished to meet the vice president at the earliest possible occasion.
Like Sipilä, Trump has a background in the business world. According to Sipilä, this could affect Trump’s view on the importance of keeping good relations with other countries.
Donald Trump is among other things known for his good relations and support for the Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Russia is ready and looks forward to restoring bilateral relations with the United States,” Putin said according to Russia Today while commenting on the news of Trump’s victory.
Sipilä doesn’t think that Trump’s presidency impacts the relations between Finland and Russia. “We have a continuous dialogue [with Russia],” he said.
In summer, Trump said to The New York Times that if he were president, the U.S. might not defend an attacked NATO ally, including the Baltic and Nordic countries. Sipilä didn’t seem too worried about such statements. “Finland is a safety factor for the Baltic Sea,” he said.
Sipilä reminded that it’s extremely important that the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Finland continue.
“All European leaders want to deal with the United States,” he said.