The Kremlin comments after the European leader promised to no longer play hockey with Putin

Finnish President Niinisto has said he will not play with

The Kremlin has suggested that there will be no major loss for President Vladimir Putin after his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto, said he would not consider playing ice hockey again with the Russian leader.

Talking to Italian media the Republic this week, Niinisto was asked about a prominent 2012 with Putin on the ice and whether he would ever repeat it.

“No, I would not play any more,” the Finnish politician replied, adding that he did not consider Putin a “partner”.

Asked on Friday about the comments, Kremlin spokesman noted the positive impact that sport could have on relations, but suggested that Putin still do not miss a thing.

“Sports, and such team sports as hockey, contribute to the formation of mutual trust. And from that point of view, it was once a very good, positive practice at the beginning of Niinisto’s presidency.” sa Peskov.

“Well, now he says he will not play. [But] “Putin has no shortage of members for his team … That is why Putin plays hockey and does it regularly,” Peskov added.

The Russian president is known as an avid hockey fan and has regularly made appearances in the Night Hockey League in his home country, which was founded on his initiative in 2011.

Niinisto comments come when the Russian-Finnish relations are in the headlines after an agreement has been reached that and will join NATO.

Putin responded to the development by saying “we do not have the kind of problems with Sweden and Finland that we unfortunately have with .

“We have no territorial disputes, we have nothing to worry about in terms of Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. If they want, let them.”

However, the Russian leader added that “they must clearly understand that they had no threats before, but now, if forces and infrastructure are there, we will be forced to respond immediately and create the same threats to the territories we are threatened from.”

Hockey has been one of the sports to impose sanctions on , after the global governing body IIHF banned Russian and Belarusian teams from competing in their tournaments.

The IIHF also removed Russia from the Junior World Cup 2023, as well as the World Championships for men 2023 – the latter of which will now host Finland and Latvia.

The Finnish team Jokerit previously played in the Russia-based Continental Hockey League (KHL) but withdrew after the conflict began in Ukraine.

The Finnish Ice Hockey Federation has also said that it will do so shut down all Finnish players from the national team if they play at Russian clubs.



Related Posts