President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy paid an official visit to Finland on Wednesday 3 May 2023 at the invitation of President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö. President Niinistö received President Zelenskyy at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki shortly after noon.
The official discussions between the Presidents included Ukraine’s defence struggle and Finland’s support for Ukraine, bilateral relations between the two countries and the global geopolitical situation. Speaking at a joint press conference, President Niinistö emphasised that support for Ukraine will continue.
President Niinistö mentioned that the Presidents had also spoken about how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised global issues that affect nations and opinions. “In a way, it seems that there is a worldwide competition of nations’ souls going on”, President Niinistö said. “It is very important that we co-operate in this field too,” the President said, referring to his recent visit to South Africa and President Zelenskyy’s phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The working lunch of the official visit was also attended by Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto. In addition, President Zelenskyy met with Speaker of the Finnish Parliament Petteri Orpo.
President Niinistö and President Zelenskyy last met in January 2023 when President Niinistö visited Kiev.
President Zelenskyy attended the Nordic-Ukrainian summit
In the afternoon, President Niinistö hosted the Nordic-Ukrainian summit, which was attended not only by President Niinistö and President Zelenskyy, but also by Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson, Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen and Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
The summit discussed the situation of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the Nordic countries’ continued support for Ukraine, the developments in Ukraine’s relationship with EU and NATO and Ukraine’s initiative for a just peace.
“It has been a pleasure and an honour to host this meeting. We have had very open and frank discussions and I believe we all agree that this meeting was worthwhile.”, President Niinistö said at a joint press conference with his Ukrainian counterpart and the Nordic Prime Ministers at the end of the summit.
In a joint statement issued after the summit, the two Presidents and the Prime Ministers of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland reiterated their unequivocal condemnation of Russia’s ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.
The Nordic countries will continue their political, financial, humanitarian and military support to Ukraine for as long as it takes.”
The statement also pointed out the Nordic countries support Ukraine’s initiative for a just and sustainable peace based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “The Nordic countries stand ready to cooperate with Ukraine to ensure as wide an international participation as possible in the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula and in a Global Peace Summit.”
The Nordic Prime Ministers also had separate bilateral meetings with President Zelenskyy.