HELSINKI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Finnish President Sauli Niinisto underlined on Monday the need to continue dialogues with Russia.
Niinisto talked to the media following an announcement by the Finnish government that one Russian diplomat will be expelled.
The Finnish president said resources should be now focused on mending the rift between East and West that appears to have widened.
Niinisto said Finland had considered the matter "from many aspects".
With its 1,300 kilometers land border with Russia, Finland faces a difficult situation when maintaining balance between the EU commitments and pragmatic relations with Russia, analysts have believed.
Asked by a reporter whether Finland was now "between hard rock and the hot place", the president answered that "anyway it was not very tight in there".
Niinisto said the diplomat to be asked to leave had not been named yet as of Monday afternoon.
While Finland joined the group of EU member countries that chose to expel Russian diplomats, the message in Helsinki was that Finland had hoped for an all-EU decision that would have made a wider selection of measures possible.
Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila explained at length in a seperate press conference on Monday that the decision was not easy for Finland.
He said Finland had worked hard along with Sweden pushing for an EU wide solution that would have included a wider selection of measures. "But this was now not possible," he said.
Sipila said a longer European process would have been better. Sipila added that it is rare in Finnish practice to make public the expulsion of diplomats.
Apart from Finland, 19 other European countries had also announced that they would expel Russian diplomats, including Albania, Norway, Sweden, Hungary and Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Russia "strongly protests" diplomats expulsion by the United States, Canada and European countries over an ex-spy case, vowing to retaliate.
"We consider this step as unfriendly and not corresponding to the goal and wish to establish the causes and search for the perpetrators of the (ex-spy poisoning) incident on March 4," the ministry said in a statement.
It said the British authorities took a "prejudiced, biased and hypocritical stance". It denied Russia's involvement in the incident.