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Russia, Finland pledge to seek ceasefire, dialogue in Ukraine

English.news.cn   2014-08-16 02:28:09

MOSCOW, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia and Finland would exert every effort to seek the soonest end to the Ukraine crisis.

"We are going to do everything within our power to end the military conflict as soon as possible, establish a dialogue among all the parties concerned and provide relief aid," Putin said, adding both countries were seriously concerned about the large- scale military operations and a true humanitarian disaster in southeast Ukraine.

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he hoped the relief aid Russia had sent to Ukraine would be the first step in settling the Ukraine crisis and that the Russian relief convoy heading for Ukraine could signal the possibility of strengthening reciprocal trust, which is necessary for the ceasefire in southeastern Ukraine.

The two presidents also discussed bilateral cooperation and future prospects, including economic interaction to which the two countries pay special attention.

"We practically meet all Finnish needs in natural gas and are reliable suppliers of other energy resources to the Finnish market. Finland, in turn, is one of Russia's key European partners," the Itar-Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying.

The Russian president said earlier that Russia sees its partnership with Finland as still "kind and businesslike" despite the sanctions Moscow has introduced on Finnish food imports.

Western countries' economic sanctions against Russia and counterstrikes imposed by Russia will exert significant impact on the Finnish economy.

Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb claimed last week that if the sanctions disproportionately hit Finland, Finland would seek for European Union compensation to cover any significant loss.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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