Finland offers to host Putin-Biden Summit

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has offered Finland as a host country for a possible meeting between US president Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Niinisto’s office said on Friday.

“When it comes to this possible meeting, the readiness of Finland to organise it has been presented to both Washington and Moscow,” a spokesman for the Finnish President’s Office told AFP by email.

Finland previously hosted Putin and President Trump in Helsinki for the 2018 summit between the two leaders.

Yet the decision to host the meeting came under criticism at the time from some in Finland who said it gave the impression that the Nordic country was neutral, rather than a Western power belonging to the EU.

The Finnish president has been a strong advocate of upholding a dialogue with the Kremlin and most recently had a phone call with president Putin on Tuesday, expressing “serious concern” over Russia’s troop movements along the border with Ukraine.

Biden proposed a meeting with his Russian counterpart during a call on Tuesday, in order to discuss rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine. (AFP)

•PHOTO: US president Joe Biden and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin