Following his first official meeting with his new Estonian counterpart Kersti Kaljulaid on Thursday, Sauli Niinistö declared that Estonia and Finland share similar views on Russia although their actions might differ.
Asked about the possibility of imposing additional sanctions against Russia over its role in Syria, Niinistö said that he would not rule it out.
He said that in the current situation there are glimmers of hope following several negotiation rounds and a new ceasefire declared by Moscow – although the truce might primarily be a propaganda tool, Niinistö noted.
For her part, Kaljulaid highlighted the massive scale of the humanitarian disaster in Syria. She said that although both Finland and Estonia had suffered and continued to suffer economically from the sanctions regime, it is important to remember that human lives are at stake at the other end of the scale.
Niinistö stressed that Finland makes use of dialogue as well as pressure in its relations with Russia. Kaljulaid pointed out that neither country necessarily needed to adopt the same approach to Russia.
However she said that both countries have exactly the same view of the situation and also share the same goals. She added that both Finland and Estonia are bound by their commitment to EU policy.