Putin wants to see constructive approach from new EU leadership

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Niinisto said the situation without an agreement on intermediate range missiles is problematic for Europe, and new talks should be possible.

He noted that while three and a half million Russians visited Finland last year, only a million Finns went to Russia. He hoped the figure would increase.

Putin made the remarks at a joint press conference after meeting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Putin said Russia hopes the new leadership of the EU would show a constructive approach to relations with Russia.

Niinisto noted that both Finland and Sweden have viewed the new gas pipe line as an environmental and legal issue only. Nord Stream Two and the already existing Nord Stream One carry Russian natural gas to continental Europe. It has no delivery role into Finland.

He said Russia appreciated the efforts by Finland towards making it possible that Russian delegation would be able to attend the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly without any restrictions.

U.S. MISSILE LAUNCH

Regarding Ukraine, Niinisto said he understands "something practical is being done". Niinisto said he will be visiting Ukraine in September and said he can support the ongoing efforts.

GAS PIPELINE

Putin confirmed that Russia aims at offering an electronic visa for Europeans visiting St. Petersburg area without a charge. The system is to begin in October.

Putin thanked Finland for "pragmatic approach" to the gas pipeline Nord Stream Two. He said the installation work within the Finnish economic zone in the Baltic Sea has been completed already.

The end of the land-based intermediate range missiles, formally known as Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, came up as a hot topic at the press conference.