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Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Marin

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op donderdag 3 februari 2022.

Thank you very much Prime Minister, dear Sanna, for the very warm welcome and for hosting me here. Indeed, we had very informative in-depth discussions about the situation, the Russia-Ukraine crisis. And I am very glad to be here because you have a lot of in-depth knowledge concerning your neighbour, Russia. You have the longest border with Russia. And many thanks for the discussions we had here in Finland.

We have discussed, among other topics, for example the military build-up we see by Russia at the border of Ukraine, but also in Belarus. It is the largest military build-up since World War II. We have discussed, indeed, also the fact that Russia is putting into question founding principles of the European security architecture, as laid down, for example, in the Helsinki Final Act.

One thing is very clear, and I also want to be clear here about that, Finland has always shown, as a Member State of the European Union, solidarity. And it is very clear that Finland can count on complete solidarity by the European Union. That is what the European Union is all about.

While the crisis has been created by Russia, we hope and we do everything possible, so that diplomacy and dialogue will succeed. But we are also prepared if Russia chooses any kind of further military escalation towards Ukraine. We are very much aligned with our partners and friends, for example the United States, but also Canada, the United Kingdom. And in case that there is any further military aggression against Ukraine, there will be financial and economic sanctions on our part, as a very clear answer. We hope that this is not necessary and we hope that Russia will return back to the path of peace and of dialogue.


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