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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Arrives in Finland for Informal Talks

HELSINKI -- President Vladimir Putin arrived in Finland on Monday for informal talks with his Finnish counterpart on Russia's relations with the European Union.

Putin stepped off a private plane at Turku airport and was whisked off in a motorcade to Finnish President Tarja Halonen's summer residence in Naantali, 200 kilometers west of Helsinki.

Their talks were also to focus on the countries' bilateral relations and patrolling of their joint 1,300-kilometer border, Halonen's office said.

Also on the agenda were Estonia and Latvia, which Russia has accused of discriminating against their large Russian-speaking minorities through education, employment, electoral policy and citizenship rules. Putin was expected to ask Finland for help in influencing its Baltic neighbors on the issue.

"Finland, with its rich democratic traditions allowing all people permanently living in the country to participate in municipal elections regardless of their citizenship, ... can serve as a good example for Riga and Tallinn," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Putin will also visit the city of Turku and its university. .