President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö met with U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senators Thom Tillis, Joni Ernst, Ted Budd, Katie Britt and Pete Ricketts on Friday 24 February 2023 at Mäntyniemi in Helsinki.
During their meeting, the President and the Senators discussed, among other things, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the situation and prospects one year after the beginning of the war, support for Ukraine and Finland’s NATO membership.
At a joint press meeting at the end of the meeting, President Niinistö said that he had met Senator McConnell a total of five times during the past year. According to him, it became clear during their meeting in Washington in March 2022 that the United States gives it full support for Finland’s NATO membership: “It has been very crucial for us.”
The President said that in the course of the year, discussions have often focused on how to end the war in Ukraine. “We haven’t found a solution yet. But it is obvious that we have to continue our support for Ukraine.” The President also said he agrees with Senator McConnell on the need to increase production of armaments. “We are not living in such a peaceful castle we thought for generations here in Europe.”
The Senators’ visit to Finland is hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Douglas Hickey.