Prime Minister Marin: It is important that President Zelensky was able to appeal to EU leaders in person
The special meeting of the European Council held on 9 February discussed support for Ukraine, migration and measures to support the European economy and competitiveness. At the summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to EU leaders to increase support for Ukraine and to intensify sanctions against Russia.
Following a general exchange of views between President Zelensky and the EU leaders, the President met with the leaders of the Member States in separate discussions. Finland met with Zelensky together with Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
According to Prime Minister Sanna Marin, it is important that the Ukrainian President had the opportunity to appeal to EU leaders in person.
“It is vital that we continue and increase our support to Ukraine. Ukraine needs our political, economic and military support as well as humanitarian assistance. Russia is increasing the intensity of its invasion, and Ukraine must be able to defend itself. To do so, they will need significantly more heavy armaments. The need for additional sanctions will also remain for as long as Russia continues its illegal invasion,” says Prime Minister Marin.
The European Council is strongly committed to the objective of holding Russia and its representatives accountable for international crimes and the consequences of the invasion, including compensation for damage caused by the war. The European Council reaffirmed that the EU will promote measures to use frozen Russian assets for reconstruction in Ukraine.
In its conclusions on the economy and competitiveness, the European Council emphasised the EU’s long-term competitiveness. In the discussions, Prime Minister Marin emphasised that the EU can only succeed in global competition by focusing on its own strengths, such as a well-functioning single market. Finland emphasised that any short-term measures must support long-term competitiveness.
The European Council is expected to continue discussions on the economy and competitiveness at its March and June meetings.
With regard to migration, the European Council emphasised the importance of common European solutions. The discussion focused on the external dimension of migration and the measures proposed by the European Commission to the Member States concerning the management of external borders, the strengthening of return policy and cooperation with countries of origin and transit.
The European Council also discussed the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and the response to the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria. Finland and many EU countries have already provided Türkiye and Syria support in the form of humanitarian assistance and by sending experts through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism.
Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for EU Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949, Saara Pokki, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 478 6363 and Rami Kurth, Communications Specialist (EU Affairs), tel. +358 50 465 7963, Prime Minister’s Office