Finnish President Sauli Niinistö pays historic visit to Washington state

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Gov. Jay Inslee shake hands to conclude a joint media availability on March 6. The president encouraged Washingtonians and Americans to sustain their support for Ukraine, and to guard for threats to democracy at large. "You do not need to be afraid, but you must always be awake," he said.

His Excellency Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland, visited the Washington State Capitol on Monday, March 6, 2023. His address to the Legislature was the first by a foreign head of state in Washington state history.

The president’s visit included a greeting with Gov. Jay Inslee, a performance of the Finnish and American national anthems by the Finnish Choral Society of Seattle, and his remarks to a joint session of the Legislature. Niinistö and Inslee also led a bilateral meeting and hosted a joint media availability.

After the address, Niinistö and Inslee and their delegations met in the governor’s office for the bilateral meeting. The president and governor agreed to deepen the cooperation in the areas of telecommunications, climate change, and port modernization. 

Partnership between Finland and the state of Washington will continue, building on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in 2021.


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