President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin held a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace on Thursday, 24 February 2022. Following the President and the Prime Minister, the press conference continued with Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen.
In his opening remarks, the President stated that Finland is demanding an immediate end to hostilities:
“Despite the advance warnings, this morning has been a shock to us all and we feel deeply for the people of Ukraine. In Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mariupol and elsewhere, innocent people are now experiencing the horrors of war. Russia has massively expanded hostilities in Ukraine and now the mask has come off. Only the cold face of war is visible. Finland strongly condemns Russia’s actions and warfare, and demands an immediate end to hostilities.
Here, dialogue did not work, despite long and relentless negotiations on many levels. The position of the UN Security Council last week, where Russia remained isolated, did not work either. Now we are on a different path. The UN Security Council will surely meet today, and the entire international community has condemned Russia’s actions. The United States and the European Union will today discuss additional sanctions, that is a different path’s response.
We, here in Finland, are keeping in close contact with all our partners. I myself just spoke this morning with the Prime Minister of Sweden. It is understandable that many Finns are now feeling afraid. I emphasise that there is no current threat against Finland. But this surely will have, and has already had, an effect. We are always carefully prepared for different scenarios, though we have made no big issue of this, but I would like to end this short address by assuring that we are on top of the situation and will remain so.”