HELSINKI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto will make a working visit to Russia to meet Russian president Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Friday, the presidential office announced on Thursday.
The office emphasized that Ukraine crisis will be the core issue during the visit.
Niinisto told a press conference on Thursday afternoon that creating an open channel for discussion is important to peacefully resolve the Ukraine crisis.
"As we all know, the situation in Ukraine is very dangerous," said Niinisto, adding that many of his western colleagues hoped that Finland could act as a peace mediator.
As a close neighbor of Russia to the west, Finland has maintained historical, political and economic connections with Russia more than any other western countries.
Finland has every reason to be involved in seeking a solution to the crisis, said Niinisto.
He admitted: "This may be a small step, but every step is important in a situation where people are in great danger."
Niinisto said the visit will not include bilateral issues between Finland and Russia, nor anything concerning the sanctions.
Western countries' economic sanctions against Russia over the crisis in Ukraine and counterstrikes imposed by Russia will exert significant impacts on the Finnish economy.
Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb claimed last week that if the sanctions disproportionately hit Finland, Finland will seek for EU compensation to cover any significant loss.