Sunday March 07, 2021

Niinistö, Putin talk about Navalny over phone

Published : 21 Jan 2021, 15:26

Updated : 22 Jan 2021, 10:40

  DF Report

President Sauli Niinistö met President of Russian Vladimir Putin. File Photo Finnish President Office.

President Sauli Niinistö on Thursday held a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and discussed various bilateral and international issues including the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The presidents spoke about the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny and its implications for relations between European countries and Russia, according to a press release issued by the president’s office.

In addition, they continued their discussion from the turn of the year on great-power relations and arms control.

The phone call was made on Finland’s initiative.

Earlier, on 18 January, Prime Minister Sanna Marin demanded immediate release of the Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, who was arrested in Moscow on 17 January upon his arrival from Germany after medical treatment.

The Premier in a twitter post also demanded probe into the incident of Navalny’s poisoning and protect rights of the opposition.

On 21 August, Niinistö held a separate telephone conversations with Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and discussed various issues including the incident of Alexei Navalny and the question of organising his healthcare.

After one day, Navalny’s medical evacuation flight – paid for by the German non-governmental organisation Cinema for Peace – landed at Tegel airport in Berlin.

Putin critic Navalny was discharged from the Charité Hospital in Berlin in late September, 2020, where he was being treated for Novichok nerve agent poisoning.

He was taken there from Siberia for treatment on 23 August.

Traces of the nerve agent allegedly used to poison Russian politician Alexei Navalny were found on a bottle in the hotel room where he stayed before falling ill.

Navalny collapsed on a flight in Siberia in August. Germany says he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

He believes Putin was responsible for his poisoning.