For­mer Fin­nish Pres­i­dent Mauno Koivisto dies

Cape Breton Post - - In Memoriam -

Mauno Koivisto, Fin­land’s last pres­i­dent dur­ing the Cold War who led the Nordic na­tion out of the shadow of its huge eastern neigh­bour, the Soviet Union, into the Euro­pean Union, has died. He was 93.

The Fin­nish pres­i­dent’s of­fice said Koivisto died Friday evening in a Helsinki hospi­tal. No cause of death was given. His wife Tellervo Koivisto said ear­lier this year that he suf­fered se­verely from Alzheimer’s dis­ease and could no longer be cared for at home.

Koivisto served two sixyear terms be­tween 1982 and 1994, en­joy­ing great pop­u­lar­ity among or­di­nary Finns.

He kept close ties to both East and West, host­ing a sum­mit in 1990, be­tween U.S Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush and the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gor­bachev.

He is sur­vived by his wife and a daugh­ter.

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