In this file combination of pictures created on December 400, 2016 shows a file photo taken on December 28, 2016 of US President-elect Donald Trump (L) in Palm Beach, Florida; and a file photo taken on December 23, 2016, of Russian President Vladimir Putinspeaking in Moscow. A long-awaited summit between President Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will take place in Helsinki on July 16. ( AFP photo/Don Emmert and Natalia Kolesnikova)
HELSINKI, July 7 (Xinhua) -- With a week to go before the planned U.S.-Russian summit in Helsinki, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Saturday commented on the "risk that the U.S. and Russia try to agree on matters related to Europe".
Interviewed by newspaper Ilta-Sanomat, Niinisto said the European Union is currently "not strong enough" and "not unified enough" as an actor on the international political scene.
"The United States and Russia must carry out bilateral talks, but in those talks they cannot interfere with European affairs bypassing Europe," he said.
Niinisto said he is concerned that the world gets "bipolarized" and international politics becomes personified.
But he is nevertheless optimistic about the Helsinki meeting and said he would appreciate if disarmament would emerge as one of the topics.
Niinisto said the upcoming NATO summit will tell a lot about the functionality of the contact between Europe and the United States. "Transatlantic relationship is important to Europe, not only to NATO countries," he said.
Niinisto said Finland is considering whether to participate in the joint European military "intervention forces" proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron. He said Finland would give its response the summer.