Thursday December 09, 2021

Stoltenberg meets President, PM, FM in Helsinki

Published : 25 Oct 2021, 22:16

Updated : 25 Oct 2021, 22:26

  DF Report

President Sauli Niinistö met NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Presidential Palace on Monday. Photo: Office of the President by Matti Porre.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg along with North Atlantic Council, which consists of ambassadors from NATO member states began a two-day official visit to Finland on Monday.

The visit started with bilateral discussions between President Sauli Niinistö and Stoltenberg, and with discussions between the President and the Council, said an official press release.

After the meeting, Niinistö held a joint press conference with the visiting NATO Secretary General, reported news agency Xinhua.

At the press conference, Niinistö said that the dialogue between NATO and Russia "is not working very well."

"I have always welcomed the discussions we have had on Russia," Stoltenberg said at the press conference.

"Your pragmatic relations with your neighbor support NATO's dual-track approach, including to have a meaningful dialogue with Russia," he added.

Finland is not a member of NATO but has an "enhanced opportunity partner" status with the organization.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto also held separate discussions with the NATO secretary General on Monday, said the government press release.

During the day, the NATO ambassadors visited Parliament, where they meet with Speaker of Parliament Anu Vehviläinen and representatives of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees.

The programme also included a visit to the Guard Jaeger Regiment, hosted by Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen and General Timo Kivinen, Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces.

On Tuesday the programme includes a meeting with Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo and a briefing of the activities of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats.

The visit provides an opportunity to promote NATO’s understanding of the security situation in the Baltic Sea region and in Northern Europe.

Furthermore, the visit manifests close partnership of Finland and Sweden with NATO and bilaterally with each other.

From Finland, the North Atlantic Council and the Secretary General will continue their journey to Sweden, which they will visit on 26–27 October.