Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Helsinki, where he is set to hold talks with his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

Kremlin foreign-policy aide Yury Ushakov has said that the August 21 talks will touch upon bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, the economy, and investment.

Cooperation in the Arctic region and security in the Baltic Sea area will also be on the agenda, he added, as well as 'prospects of recovering constructive dialogue between Russia and the European Union.'

Finland currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU, which has imposed sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

Authorities announced that traffic would be restricted in the center of the Finnish capital and along the route used by Putin to and from Helsinki airport.

After the talks at the president's palace, the two leaders are scheduled to hold a joint news conference.

Niinisto will also host a dinner for Putin at the Suomenlinna Fortress -- a UN-designated world heritage site -- that guards the entrance to Helsinki harbor.

Putin and Niinisto meet regularly. Putin visited Finland last year, while the most recent bilateral meeting took place in April in St. Petersburg on the sidelines of the Arctic Forum.

Finland, like its neighbor and fellow European Union member Sweden, has since 1994 cooperated with NATO in the Partnership for Peace program and participated in NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, although neither country is a member of the Western military alliance.

Based on reporting by dpa and TASS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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