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Meeting with President of Finland Tarja Halonen

July 20, 2010, Naantali

The meeting between Dmitry Medvedev and Tarja Halonen took place at Kultaranta, the Finnish President's summer residence.


President of Finland Tarja Halonen (translated from Russian): I would like to extend my warm and sincere greetings to President Dmitry Medvedev and all members of his delegation.

I can say that we have already had a brief chat in English, and I have received greetings from my friends in St Petersburg and Moscow and forwarded greetings back to them.

When I am asked why I and all of us here in Finland attach so much importance to meetings with heads of state, I can say that we are good neighbours. I believe that good neighbours should meet regularly to update all the latest information so that these good relations continue in the future.

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I am very happy to be here in Finland. I would like to greet President of Finland Tarja Halonen and her spouse Dr Arajarvi.

I would like to tell you it is true that I have passed on to the President the greetings from some people. Everybody is probably wondering who these people are. I'll let you in on the secret: their names are Valentina and Vladimir.

It is a great pleasure to come to Finland in the summer to continue the talks with the President of Finland because the weather here is wonderful. I have always loved travelling to Finland at this time of year, though I used to come in a somewhat different status.

Now I will probably have an opportunity to look at Finland with different eyes, but in a very pleasant situation, with fine weather that makes such a great contrast with what we have in Moscow today.

From myself and on behalf of the entire Russia delegation, thank you very much for the invitation and the wonderful weather.

Tarja Halonen: Let's hope the weather holds. The forecast for tomorrow is changeable weather so anything can happen. But we have a good new boat, and it is covered, so I think we will have a very interesting adventure at sea.

Our agenda includes the state of the Baltic Sea, but I hope that President Medvedev will have an opportunity to see the sea before tomorrow and that there won't be any blue-green algae. At least there weren't any today.

Dmitry Medvedev: That’s not up to President Medvedev but we can all hope.

Tarja Halonen: I would also like to note for the Russian media that I have met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in St Petersburg, and tomorrow President Medvedev will meet with our new Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi.

Dmitry Medvedev: It will be very interesting.

July 20, 2010, Naantali