The Corona virus has spoiled an official visit from the president of Finland this week. Sauli Niinistö was due to arrive in Oslo on Wednesday (April 20) and stay until Friday, but he tested positive for Covid-19 and has to stay home.
It’s a disappointment for the Norwegian government at a time when Finland is considering joining NATO and the Nordic countries are cooperating more closely than ever. Security policy, business deals and cooperation on climate projects were all on the agenda during the long-planned the visit.
Niinistö was supposed to be accompanied by Finland’s trade minister Ville Sinnari, and both Niinistö and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre topped a foreign policy conference on Thursday organized by the research institute NUPI. That’s been cancelled too.
Niinistö was also due to meet with King Harald (who recently recovered from Corona infection himself) and have lunch at the Royal Palace, before meeting the president of the Norwegian Parliament and its foreign affairs- and defense committee. Niinistö, who was also due for meetings with Norway’s foreign- and defense ministers on Friday, was reportedly not seriously ill but any infection prevents travel and meetings for at least several days.