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

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Helsinki, Jul 16: Finland sides with democracy and fighting climate change, its deputy prime minister said today, 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 today’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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