PRESIDENT Sauli Niinisto On Thursday, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine came as a shock, although warnings were raised of the possibility of conflict.
“Finland strongly condemns Russia’s actions and war. And that requires warlike measures to be halted quickly,” he told an unusual joint press conference by Finland’s Security and Overseas Directorate.
“Our deep feelings go out to the people of Ukraine – in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol, Odessa and elsewhere, innocent people have to endure the horrors of war,” Niinistö said.
The storyline, he judged, will continue for some time and take on an increasingly somber tone. “This is also reflected in Finland’s foreign and security policy. That is clear,” he admitted. “As far as our relationship with Russia is concerned, it takes it to another level.”
“The masks have now been removed, showing only the face of war,” he replied when asked to clarify his thoughts on the Russian president. Vladimir Poutine.
Niinistö and Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) reiterated that Finland is not under a military risk, the latter recalling that the military situation remains calm around Finland. The broader security scenario, however, is more likely to remain tense, unstable and difficult to predict for some time, Kaikkonen said.
“The Finnish Defense Forces are well prepared to assume their responsibilities. Finns can have confidence in our defense forces,” he said.
Niinistö said Finland had no plans to become a NATO member after the invasion. Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (The Greens) assured that the Finnish security blanket was designed to withstand disasters.
“We will draw conclusions after the crisis on the necessary measures,” Haavisto said.
Finland presented its positions alongside Ukraine. He has already sent financial aid to the country each time directly and through the European Union.
In the meantime, the Finnish Defense Forces have started investigating what weapons or other defense materials they could hand over without harming their personal defense capabilities. Kaikkonen said Finland was “positive” about requests from other countries to offer arms to Ukraine and other supplies purchased from Finland.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said Finland will respond to the invasion with sanctions with different members of the European Union. The bloc, she assured, is ready to resort to agency sanctions.
“You cannot put a price on peace, stability and human lives,” she stressed, adding that a response to sanctions is inevitable. “This is the price of this situation. The EU did not want this situation. This is due to the actions of Russia.
Leaders of the 27-nation bloc featured after a summit last night agreed to impose new financial sanctions on Russia, becoming a member of groups like the UK and the US.
The EU will freeze Russian assets on its territory and block Russian banks from accessing its money markets, according to Reuters. Sanctions could even include export controls designed to stifle trade, manufacturing and the operation of Russia’s energy and transport sectors, but without cutting Russia off from Swift, a system that serves as an intermediary and executor of transnational monetary transactions.
Joseph Borellthe EU’s foreign affairs and security policy chief, described the sanctions as the “toughest” the bloc has ever applied.
“I hope we will make great progress tomorrow on how these sanctions look specifically,” the Dutch foreign minister said. Wopke Hoekstra. “For the Netherlands, Swift is part of the discussion.”
The EU will meet again now to iron out the details of its second sanctions package.
Niinistö said on Thursday that the West is unlikely to respond to the invasion with military pressure. “A balance of terror, maintained by nuclear weapons, is in effect here,” he said. “A counterweight to that is that the same aspect is recognized in Russia. This means that it will be a line that will not be easily crossed, because after that there are no winners.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
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