Wed, 12 Aug 2020

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit neighboring Finland on August 21 for talks with his counterpart, Sauli Niinisto.

The talks in Helsinki are expected to focus on current international and bilateral issues, the Finnish president's office said a statement, without giving further details.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Finland currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

With reporting by dpa

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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