President Halonen: elections not bad for Finland
Commenting the Russian elections, Finnish president Tarja Halonen said the Russian people had given its support to Vladimir Putin’s continued rule. For Finland, the result was not bad at all, she said.
The president seemed concerned, however, about one thing: the fact that the Communists seem to have become the sole opposition in Russia. “Well, I do not know how one should take this,” she commented.
PM Vanhanen: election result “convincing”
Finnish premier Matti Vanhanen regards the Russian election results as “convincing”. In his opinion, the voter participation of over 60% is an indication that the voters genuinely supported Putin’s plan.
Vanhanen insists that the reports of voting irregularities need to be investigated. However, he does not believe that there was anything suspicious in the election result.
FM Kanerva: Russians chose continuity
Finnish foreign minister Ilkka Kanerva was not surprised at the results of the Russian elections. It seems Russians prefer stability and patriotism to democracy, he said.
Kanerva believes Putin is likely to secure his election as prime minister. This is certainly a more democratic alternative than him trying to stay in power from some other position, he said.
The election result will not affect Finnish-Russian relations in any way, Kanerva assured..