The Kremlin hopes that Finnish President-elect Alexander Stubb will maintain a balance in Moscow-Helsinki relations upon taking office in March, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“We continue to hope that the new head of state, having the opportunity to receive a full range of information, will have a more balanced attitude toward the issue of Russian-Finnish relations,” the spokesman said.
The Kremlin spokesman pointed out that Moscow considers the election of the new president “a sovereign matter of the Finnish people.” “Therefore, we can only respect the choice of the Finns,” he noted.
Commenting on the prospects for the development of bilateral relations, the spokesman said: “We still believe that that there was a very long period when we had very developed partnership relations; they were mutually beneficial for the economies and peoples of the two countries. We believe that this period was better than the one that developed in our bilateral relations through no fault of our own, but at the initiative of the Finnish authorities.”
Finland held the second, runoff round of its presidential election on Sunday. Stubb, a former prime minister (2014-2015), garnered 51.6% of the vote, while lawmaker and former foreign minister Pekka Haavisto received 48.4%. Voter turnout was 67.6%. The new, 13th, president of Finland will take office in early March.