Finnish President Sauli Niinistö’s office on Wednesday confirmed that he will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin next week in eastern Finland. The two presidents are to meet on Thursday, 27 July in Savonlinna. Niinistö will host Putin at the historic Punkaharju Hotel, some 30 km east of the centre of Savonlinna.

The official statement does not specify what will be on the agenda for talks other than the standard “bilateral relations and topical international issues”.

After their tête-à-tête at the hotel, Niinistö and Putin will sail by steamship through Lake Saimaa to Savonlinna. There they will dine at Olavinlinna Castle and watch a Bolshoi Theatre production of Tchaikovsky’s 1892 opera Iolanta at the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

Despite tensions between Moscow and the EU over Ukraine, Niinistö has met frequently with Putin since they both took office in 2012. They most recently held talks in March during an Arctic conference in north-west Russia, and a year ago at the Finnish presidential summer residence near Turku.

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