Sauli Niinistö told the television program what he thinks about the situation in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin and whether Finland should join NATO.
The president of the Republic Sauli Niinistö commented on the situation in Ukraine over the weekend on the US TV channel CNN. He was interviewed on the State of the Union program.
According to Niinistö, Russia has pushed forward, then taken a step back and then two forwards again, which has confused others. He thinks that might be the president Vladimir Putin as a tactic.
Program presenter Dana Bash then asked directly whether Niinistö believes that Putin will attack Ukraine.
The President replied that he thought there were still three options left. The first is that the situation in eastern Ukraine and the Minsk agreement could be agreed. However, it sounds distant from Niinistö.
“Another option is a full-scale war.”
The third option, he said, is just as bad as the second: in it, Russia will continue to move back and forth as seen now, which will increase tensions.
“I would say the third option would be the most likely at the moment.”
According to Niinistö, the situation is now “almost colder than during the Cold War,” when the United States and Russia still had agreements restricting armaments, for example.
“Now we no longer have contracts, and that makes the situation much more vulnerable.”
Read more: President Niinistö: Dialogue with Russia tightening the screw must continue as long as its oversized demands continue to be rejected
In an interview the views of President Putin and Niinistö on him were also discussed in more detail. Bash said perhaps none of the Western leaders know Putin as well as President Niinistö.
Niinistö noted that although he has met with Putin several times and talked to him on the phone many times, it is difficult for him to define what Putin is like.
According to Niinistö, Putin has acted in a way that is difficult to predict, but possibly deliberately just to arouse confusion.
Niinistö also shed more light on his telephone conversation, during which he noticed that Putin had become more determined.
He said that he had taken up the demands made by Russia and at the same time said that Finland intended to maintain its sovereignty and the right to decide for itself.
In response to this, Putin began to read in a very formal tone throughout his list of demands.
Read more: Niinistö tells in an interview with a German newspaper how Putin, whom he has known for a long time, has now changed
Read more: Niinistö told the Washington Post about his conversation with Putin: the Minsk agreement is rubbing in Moscow
Bash also questioned whether Russia’s aggression was a concern in its border neighborhood.
Niinistö reminded that Finland has been a stable and democratic country for more than a hundred years. In addition, Finland is a member of the European Union and part of the West.
“We are not afraid. In fact, the situation both at the Finnish border and in the entire Baltic Sea region is currently quite calm. We are not afraid that Russian tanks will suddenly come across the Finnish border. ”
According to Niinistö, Finland is still considering joining NATO, and there is currently no need for sudden changes.
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