17 Sep 2021 17:54

Putin, Finnish counterpart Niinisto discuss Russia-Finland relations, European affairs, Afghanistan, activities of Arctic Council

MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto have spoken over the phone, the Kremlin said.

"[Putin and Niinisto] discussed current issues related to bilateral relations, including the implementation of joint projects in trade, economic ties, energy, and the cultural and humanitarian spheres. Considering Russia's chairmanship of the Arctic Council, the sides reiterated interest in developing dialogue within the framework of this organization," the Russian presidential press service said in a statement on Friday.

During the phone conversation, the two leaders touched on the situation in Afghanistan, the press service said.

"Niinisto expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by Russia to the Finnish side during the evacuation from Kabul. Putin briefed [Niinisto] on the agreements on the Afghan dossier reached during the session of the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] Collective Security Council and at the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization] Council of Heads of State in Dushanbe on September 16-17," it said.

When exchanging views on European issues, "the Finish president emphasized the importance of implementing the initiative on convening a summit on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki in 2025," the press service said.

"Putin expressed support for these kinds of steps contributing to the revival of 'Helsinki spirit,'" it said.

The two presidents agreed on further personal contacts and to continue active dialogue at various levels, the press service said.