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The NATO-friendly president exchanges whispers with Putin in Finland

The NATO-friendly president exchanges whispers with Putin in Finland

February 11, 2024 – 9:55 pm

Photo: Emmy Korhonen/Letikova/AFP

The center-right National Coalition Party's candidate, Alexander Stubb, won the second round of the Finnish presidential election on Sunday. Reuters According to the news. The news agency wrote that rival Pekka Haavisto from the Green Party admitted his defeat and congratulated Stubb, even describing him as an experienced and competent president.

According to Reuters, Staub is pro-European and a strong supporter of Ukraine, which has taken a hard line on Russia. This is also important because in the Finnish political system, the head of state is responsible for security and foreign affairs.

Based on a total of 99.7 percent of the votes, Staub won by a narrow margin: 51.6 percent to Haavisto's 48.4 percent. Staub described his election as the greatest honor of his life and thanked many people for voting.

Stubb, a former prime minister, also won the first round of the Finnish presidential election, ahead of Haavisto. The strongest candidates reached the second round.

Reuters notes that Finnish presidents generally maintained good relations with Moscow, but the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 changed that radically. Finland has since abandoned its neutrality and joined NATO. Sauli Niinistö, who spent 12 years in the presidency and maintained a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin (hence the nickname “Putin's whisperer”), will retire.

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