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Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has denied that Finland had concluded a deal to buy new fighter aircraft from Boeing, correcting remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump during a joint Aug. 29 press conference in Washington. 

“One of the things that is happening is you’re purchasing large amounts of our great F-18 aircraft from Boeing and it’s one of the great planes, the great fighter jets,” Trump said on Monday at a news conference with his Finnish counterpart in the White House, according to a Reuters report. 

 Niinisto, who was standing next to Trump, looked surprised but did not follow up on the comment. He later denied the deal with Boeing on his Twitter account and on Tuesday in Washington. Finland has launched the HX competition to select a new fighter to replace its current fleet of Boeing F-18C fighters, promising a level playing field and a transparent selection process. 

 Trump’s comments consequently caused considerable surprise in Finland, and caused Niinisto to issue a denial (in Finnish) respond by Twitter. He later tolf Finnish journalists in Washington that “It seems that on the sale side, past decisions and hopes about future decisions have mixed ... The purchase is just starting, and that is very clear here.”

 

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