Helsinki, March 31 (IANS) Filand President Sauli Niinisto on Thursday toned down media speculation about a possible meeting between Russian and US leaders in Helsinki.
In an internationally televised panel discussion at the 4th International Arctic Forum (IAF) in Northern Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin had repeated his willingness to meet US President Donald Trump in Finland.
Niinisto said a would-be meeting had been discussed already a year ago when he met Putin, but the plan had not progressed since, Xinhua news agency reported.
Niinisto reaffirmed that Finland is willing to stage a meeting during the Finnish chairmanship of the Arctic Council beginning in May.
“But the US and Russia must both be keen to come to Helsinki, and the meeting must have substance associated with the arctic development,” Niinisto said.
Putin had described Finland as “a good neighbour”, and said Finland had experience in arranging international meetings.