Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed defense cooperation and energy security with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, who came to the capital Kyiv for an official visit.
“The President of Ukraine said that during today’s meeting, the parties had discussed defense cooperation, protection of Ukrainian energy, interaction in European structures, regional security, the Ukrainian Peace Formula and other issues that directly affect the security of Ukraine, Finland and the whole of Europe,” a presidential statement said on Tuesday.
The statement said Zelenskyy emphasized that Ukraine and Finland are already united by 12 defense assistance packages, noting that cooperation is also present between the two countries in restoring Ukraine’s energy sector.
“I am grateful to Finland for the unwavering principled support of our defense efforts, sanctions pressure on Russia, international activity aimed at bringing Russia to justice for its terror,” Zelenskyy added.
Zelenskyy also noted that he and Niinisto continue to discuss the preparation of a 10th package of EU sanctions on Russia, saying that it is very important that international efforts are also aimed at preventing any attempts by Russia and its associates to circumvent sanctions.
He also said Ukraine has no intention of attacking neighboring Belarus, stressing that it is important that Belarus “does not lose its independence and does not join this disgraceful war despite anyone’s influence,” amid claims by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that Kyiv has been training and arming forces to fight Minsk.
For his part, Niinisto said that his country has been constantly supporting Ukraine and has provided assistance worth almost €600 million ($653 million), noting that Helsinki also “supports Ukrainian civil society, provides generators and other humanitarian aid, and has sheltered about 50,000 Ukrainian citizens.”
“We are ready to do everything we can to help you. We have been doing so until now, especially after last year’s large-scale offensive,” Niinisto said.
After arriving in the capital Kyiv, Niinisto visited the cities of Borodianka and Bucha, which saw intense clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces early in the war, which just started its 12th month.