OREANDA-NEWS  President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has held a meeting with President of Finland Sauli Niinist? in the course of the first official visit to Finland in 11 years.

The delegations of the countries have also conducted negotiations on a wide range of issues of mutual Ukraine-Finland interest under the chairmanship of the two Presidents. Following the negotiations, a Memorandum of Understanding in the spheres of energy efficiency, energy saving and alternative energy sources has been signed.

The President of Ukraine noted that it was his 11th meeting with the Finnish colleague and underscored regular dialogue of true partnership between the two leaders.

The Head of State emphasized great honor for the Ukrainian delegation to make an official visit on the 100th anniversary of independence of Finland. “You have every right to be proud of such a democratic, highly developed state whose governance system is recognized one of the best in the world,” Petro Poroshenko said.

He also called it symbolic that the visit took place on the 25th anniversary of restoration of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Finland established almost 100 years ago, in 1918.

The Head of State emphasized that our countries had been closely bonded not only by a centenary tradition of cooperation and common values, but also by an experience of countering the foreign aggressor. According to the President, historic personality of Marshal Carl Mannerheim, who is an example of service to the Homeland, is very popular today in Ukraine. “You understand Ukraine better than anyone else. This understanding is vitally important today – in conditions of the lasting hybrid war of Russia against Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.

The Head of State expressed gratitude to President Niinist? for a clear and firm support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

The Head of State informed on Ukraine’s willingness to join the activity of the Center for combating hybrid threats in Helsinki: “Unfortunately, Ukraine acquires the best experience in the world countering hybrid threats on a daily basis. This may be useful for our European partners”.

In the course of the meeting, the parties have also discussed brutal violation of human rights in Crimea and Donbas. The President urged to increase pressure on Russia in order to liberate Ukrainian hostages from the occupied territories and Russian prisons. He also thanked President Niinist? for providing human and financial resources to the OSCE SMM, humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian IDPs and practical support to the process of humanitarian demining in the east of our country.

Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to Finland for a firm position on speeding up the provision of the visa-free regime for Ukraine, ensuring the completion of the process of ratification of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and a huge amount of technical aid.

According to the President, the parties have reached an agreement to intensify the activity of the Intergovernmental Ukraine-Finland Joint Commission for Trade and Economic Development. The Ukrainian party has expressed willingness to welcome Team Finland business mission in Ukraine.

According to the President, enhancement of cooperation in the energy sphere is crucial. And the Memorandum signed today is a great confirmation of an efficient cooperation of Ukraine in the sphere of energy saving and energy efficiency.