Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

In Kyiv, President Stubb confirmed Finland’s support for Ukraine for the next ten years

President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb visited Ukraine and met President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday 3 April 2024. On the visit, he was also accompanied by Jussi Halla-aho, Speaker of Parliament of Finland.

During the visit, the Presidents signed an agreement on bilateral security cooperation between Finland and Ukraine. President Stubb also announced Finland’s decision to send its 23rd package of defence materiel to Ukraine. With these decisions, Finland wants to show its support for Ukraine in the short and long term.

In their meeting, Presidents Stubb and Zelenskyy discussed, among other things, the current situation of the war of aggression that Russia launched more than two years ago, Finland’s support for Ukraine, the Ukrainian efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace and Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic future. 

“In my mind, Ukraine is European and there is not going to be anything that will hold that back. We need to now make sure that we take the right long-term measures to make it happen, make the situation permanent,” the President said. 

After the meeting, the Presidents signed an agreement on security cooperation and long-term support between Finland and Ukraine. The 10-year agreement is a token of Finland’s long-term commitment to supporting Ukraine. It covers various sectors, including political support, support for Ukrainian defence and security, and support for reforming and reconstructing Ukraine.

In connection with the NATO summit last summer, the Nordic Countries issued a joint statement, declaring their commitment to supporting Ukraine and its security in the long term based on the G7 Joint Declaration of Support for Ukraine issued earlier. Finland is the eighth country to sign a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine.

The 23rd package of defence materiel meets Ukraine’s critical needs

In Kyiv, President Stubb also announced Finland’s decision to send its 23rd package of defence materiel to Ukraine, worth EUR 188 million. The package responds to Ukraine’s critical needs, including materiel for air defence and heavy munitions.

“And this support will surely continue. We Finns don’t like to talk too much, we like to do a little bit more, and what we’re trying to do the 23rd package is to make sure that the short-term needs that the President has expressed to us and the world are met at least from our part,” President Stubb said at a joint press conference. 

President Stubb said to the Finnish media that he considered it important to travel to Ukraine during the first weeks of his term as president. One purpose of the trip was to obtain up-to-date information on the situation in the war. “After all, this is the war that has the most crucial impact on our foreign and security policy.” 

“Of course, another reason to come was the will to show our support, to make it totally clear to all Ukrainians that Finland will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes.” 

Visits to Hostomel airport and local university

At the beginning of the visit, President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb and Speaker of Parliament of Finland Jussi Halla-aho got acquainted with the Hostomel airport. In the background, the wreck of Mrija aircraft. Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

Prior to the meeting with President Zelenskyy, President Stubb and Speaker Halla-aho visited the Hostomel airport. In the airport, Ukraine achieved combat success that greatly impacted the way the war progressed after Russia had launched its invasion. The soldiers who defended the airport told the President about their experiences.

President Stubb also laid a wreath in the memory of the Ukrainian soldiers fallen in the war at the Wall of Remembrance in Kyiv.

In the afternoon, the President and the Speaker met with Ruslan Stefanchuk, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, the parliament of Ukraine, Deputy Chair Olena Kondratiuk and members of the Friends of Finland Group of Parliament. The President said that this may be the first time that the President of the Republic of Finland and the Speaker of Parliament of Finland make a joint visit abroad. The purpose of the visit is to send out a message that support for Ukraine is one of Finland’s foreign and security policy priorities, and there is a broad consensus on this in Finland.

At the end of the visit, the programme included a meeting and discussion with students at Taras Shevchenko National University. The President opened the meeting with a presentation titled “the New World Disorder”. The issues highlighted in the discussion with the students included the Russian war of aggression and the European future of Ukraine, developments related to the global geopolitical situation and the future of international institutions.

The previous presidential visit from Finland to Ukraine was made by President Sauli Niinistö in January 2023.

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