Finnish President Sauli Niinistö agreed to strengthen relations with the United States during a visit to Washington DC on Friday, where he met his US counterpart Joe Biden and a number of other high-ranking officials in the U.S. political and security leadership.
The heads of state discussed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the effects of the war on European and Finnish security arrangements and bilateral relations.
In a brief description before the meeting, Biden said that Finland is a "a strong defensive partner" in "a unified transatlantic response" Russia’s attack on Ukraine and what he called an attack on global peace. He added that he has been in regular contact with Niinistö "some time".
"Finland is an important partner for the United States and also a strong defense partner for NATO." The president of the United States said.
Niinistö replied that the world is alive "very difficult times".
"I would also like to thank you for your leadership. We need it now," Niinistö said.
In another discussion, Biden referred to comments from his presidential predecessor Barack Obama.
"President Obama used to say that we would be fine if we left everything to the Nordic countries, all would be well." Biden said.
"Well, we don’t usually start wars," Niinistö replied.
US support for Finland
Inside something Tweet The U.S. president, sent earlier on Friday, said he was looking forward to meeting with Niinistö.
"We are discussing the latest developments in the Russian war against Ukraine and the strengthening of European security." Biden wrote.
The hosting of Biden’s Niinistö has been widely interpreted in Finland as a sign of US support, especially since the US President has not met with other heads of state since the Russian invasion.
Prior to the meeting, there was intense discussion in Finland about possible accession to NATO. Public opinion seems to have swung behind the idea as a result of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, with 53 percent of Yle polling in favor of NATO membership.
Politicians have agreed to negotiate a consensus under Niinistö’s leadership.
Source: The Nordic Page