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In a release, Niinisto’s office said that he had stressed how Russian demands late last year aiming at preventing countries from joining NATO had “altered the security environment of Finland.”
“The conversation was direct and straight-forward and it was conducted without aggravations,” Niinisto said in a statement. “Avoiding tensions was considered important.”
The Kremlin’s press service said in a statement that Putin responded that Finland’s abandonment “of its traditional policy of military neutrality would be an error since there are no threats to Finland’s security.”
“Such a change in the country’s foreign policy could negatively affect Russian-Finnish relations, which had been built in the spirit of
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