Prime Minister of Finland: we were naive about Russia, we should listen to our friends from the Baltic countries

The head of the Finnish government, Sanna Marin, admitted during Tuesday’s debate in the European Parliament that European policy towards Russia was “naive”. “Together, we are now paying a high price for our dependence on Russian energy,” she said.

– The war has shown how important it is for Europe to have its own production of defense equipment and how sensitive we are when it comes to energy. We have to admit that we were naive to Russia and we were very wrong in our perceptions of Russia’s actions, said the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin during a debate in the European Parliament.

– We should have listened more carefully to our friends from the Baltic states and Poland who lived under the Soviet rule. Together, we are now paying a high price for our dependence on Russian energy, she emphasized.

Sanna Marin during her speech in the European ParliamentCHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / PAP / EPA

As she assessed Ukraine will win this war with the support of the European Union. – There is no other alternative. In our hearts, the Ukrainians have already won it. They are full of courage and unwavering determination. Their counteroffensive is progressing at an incredible pace and they have forced Russia to withdraw from many parts of their country, she said.

– Together, we responded to the Russian invasion with extensive sanctions and by providing Ukraine with military, economic and humanitarian aid. Europe and the Western world have acted decisively and consistently. Unity is our greatest strength, emphasized Sanna Marin.

Prime Minister of Finland: The Union needs unity

In her opinion, now more than ever European Union it needs unity because Russia uses energy as a weapon against Europe. – Blackmailing our societies through energy supplies is a way to weaken European support for Ukraine and break our unity. Putin cannot succeed, she said.

– For Russia, using energy to blackmail us is a short-sighted strategy. The ongoing energy crisis will simply accelerate Europe’s departure from Russian fossil fuels. With its war, Russia is destroying its economy and its future. Russia has broken our trust. Even if the war ended today, our trust would not be rebuilt for a long time, she assessed.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna MarinCHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / PAP / EPA

– We must be as united and determined to show solidarity and care for our citizens as we responded to the blackmail from Russia. We must ensure that energy is available throughout Europe and be prepared to take exceptional measures to reduce energy prices – she added.

The Prime Minister of Finland on the energy crisis

In her opinion, the availability and price of energy is one of the most important issues that the EU has to solve in the coming months and years. ‘Together, we must do everything we can to ensure that our citizens and businesses can cope with the coming fall and winter,’ she added.

– In the short term, we must find all possible means to ensure energy supply and reduce its prices. (…) In the medium and long term, the only way out of the energy crisis is significant investment in renewable and zero-emission energy production, common European transmission networks and storage technologies. We must phase out Russian fossil fuels as soon as possible, she stressed.

She stressed that the EU, above all, must continue to provide Ukraine with all forms of support and be prepared to impose even stricter sanctions. – The more influence we can achieve through sanctions, the more expensive it will be for Russia to continue the war – she said.

At the end of the speech, the Finnish Prime Minister stated that “Russia may challenge us, blackmail and threaten us, but we will not give up.” – Russia’s aggressive war triggered applications from Finland and Sweden for NATO membership. Membership of our countries in NATO will strengthen the security of the whole of Northern Europe and will strengthen the Alliance. Russia’s actions have united the West like never before, and Russia is lonelier than ever, she said.

Main photo source: CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON / PAP / EPA

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