Finnish president Tarja Halonen regards Russia’s current regime as legitimate. Speaking about Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin and president Dmitry Medvedev, Ms Halonen said it is very important for Russians themselves that these two “legitimate rulers” get along. Putin has a position that not many prime ministers have, in that he has received such a strong parliamentary support through elections, she remarked.
Speaking on a Finnish TV morning show ahead of Putin’s visit to Finland, Ms Halonen called Soviet patriotism a positive phenomenon. Comparing Putin and Medvedev, she said they were two very different people. Putin’s education included some good things that were part of the Soviet era, like patriotism, she said. He has come from tough conditions and has seen a lot of different situations, Ms Halonen stated.