Finnish President Sauli Niinistö will speak at a press conference in Helsinki, Finland on May 11 (Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva / AFP / Getty Images).

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö told Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that he would decide on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO members will seek accession within a few days).

In a call initiated by Finland, “President Ninist demanded President Putin from Russia to prevent Russia from joining NATO in late 2021, and in February 2022 Russia made a major move to Ukraine. He talked about how the invasion of Finland changed the security environment in Finland. ” ..

“The conversation was direct, straightforward and did not get worse. It was considered important to avoid tension,” Niinistö said in a statement.

Niinistö had already told Putin at the first meeting in 2012 that “all independent nations maximize their security” and “this is still happening.”

By joining NATO, Finland states that it is “not separated from anyone else” and “strengthens its security and takes responsibility for it.” In the future, Finland “wants to deal with the practical problems caused by being a neighboring country of Russia in a correct and professional way.”

Niinistö “repeated deep concerns about human suffering caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine” and “emphasized the need for peace.” “We also delivered a message about ensuring the evacuation of civilians delivered earlier in the week by President (Ukraine) Volodymyr Zelensky,” he said in a statement.

What the Kremlin says: The Kremlin said in a statement that Niinistö and Putin had a “frank exchange of views” on Saturday’s phone call in connection with the announced intention of Finnish leaders to apply for NATO membership.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized that it is a mistake to abandon the traditional military-neutral policy because there is no threat to Finland’s security,” the statement said.

“Such changes in foreign policy in a country can adversely affect relations between Russia and Finland. It has been built over the years in the spirit of good neighborhood relations and partnership cooperation, with each other. It was informative. “

The leaders also discussed the situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

“Especially Vladimir Putin shared his assessment of the state of the negotiation process between the Russian and Ukrainian representatives, which was actually interrupted by Kieu, who showed no interest in a serious and constructive dialogue,” the statement said. rice field.

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