Mikhail Gorbachev, the first and last President of the USSR, and Mauno Koivisto, the former President of Finland, will meet in Kuopio, Finland, on October 24, the international UN day. The meeting will take place during the International Days of Social Policies traditionally organised by the Finnish Association of Social Policies at the country's universities.
According to the Savon Sanomat newspaper, both presidents have agreed to arrive in Kuopio and take part in the traditional forum.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Mauno Koivisto should have met June 2002 in Moscow during the presentation of Mr. Koivisto's book entitled The Russian Idea. Regretfully, the presentation coincided in time with Mr. Gorbachev's trip abroad. The two presidents first met 13 years ago in Finland during the official visit of the Gorbachevs to Helsinki. The most significant result of that meeting was the recognition by the USSR of Finland's neutrality status.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia