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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Finnish president to address Washington Legislature on Monday

Gov. Jay Inslee, second from right, and Trudi Inslee, at right, meet Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and his wife, Jenni Haukio, during a visit to Finland.  (Courtesy of the Office of the Governor)

OLYMPIA – Finnish President Sauli Niinistö will visit Olympia on Monday, his first stop in a five-day tour across the United States.

During a short visit, Niinistö will meet with Gov. Jay Inslee and give an address to a joint session of the state Legislature.

He will visit just days after Finland’s Parliament approved its bid to join NATO. Finland and Sweden – two countries that have historically remained out of military conflicts – applied to NATO together almost a year ago, though the parliaments of Turkey and Hungary have pushed back on their admittance. Finland may soon be approved to join, even without Sweden.

Inslee and other representatives from Washington businesses and local governments visited Finland during a trade mission to the Nordic countries in September, which focused on energy, technology, sustainability and climate change.

“Finland’s bright thinking, sustainable innovation, and present equanimity inspire the world,” Inslee said in a news release. “President Niinistö said recently that the ‘cold face of war is visible’ on his continent. Finland has not wavered. It was my honor to be received by the president in Finland last September, and it is again my honor to welcome him to Olympia to discuss our partnership.”

Inslee will receive Niinistö at the Capitol on Monday morning, after which the president will give a joint address to the Legislature and deliver remarks with Inslee to members of the media.

In Finland, Inslee saw the country’s approach to nuclear waste disposal and developing 5G and 6G technologies.

Inslee and Niinistö will again discuss the two governments’ partnership on technological research, port modernization, clean energy and sustainable forestry, according to the governor’s office.

Laurel Demkovich's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.