Europe

Former Finnish President Mauno Koivisto dies at 93

Mauno Koivisto, Finland's last president during the Cold War who led the Nordic nation out of the shadow of its huge eastern neighbor, 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 six-year 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.