Finland deputy PM sends climate, democracy message to Trump, Putin

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HELSINKI, July 16, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Finland sides with democracy and
fighting climate change, its deputy prime minister said on Monday, as
presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a historic summit in
Helsinki.

In a series of tweets, Petteri Orpo, who’s also the finance minister, was
referring to the issues Trump and Putin have been criticised over, adding
that “Finnish foreign policy is based on promoting and defending these
values”.

“Finland is not a neutral country,” Orpo said about the nation which was
selected by Moscow and Washington for Monday’s summit and has a history of
hosting previous meetings between US and Russian leaders.

Orpo tweeted that Finland “chose to be on the side of #humanrights,
#democracy, #ruleoflaw and multilateral world order” when it joined the
European Union in 1995.

“The current order is far from perfect, but the solution is not to walk
away from it but to fix it,” he said, referring to the United Nations and the
World Trade Organization.

Last month, the United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council in
protest against its criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

Orpo underlined that Finland, which was a Russian Grand Duchy from 1809 to
1917, believes “the world will be a better place” if women and girls’ rights
are recognised and respected.

The conservative politician, who’s the head of the centre-right National
Coalition Party and a potential future leader of the government, stressed
that “climate change is not just an environmental problem but also a security
threat”.

Finland’s current centrist prime minister Juha Sipila has been tight-lipped
in recent days and “warmly” welcomed Putin and Trump on his Twitter account.

“Dialogue is of utmost importance to Finland’s and Europe’s security,” he
added.

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