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National Statement by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo at the Ukraine Recovery Conference on 11 June 2024

Government Communications Department
Publication date 11.6.2024 16.07

National Statement by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin 11 June 2024.

Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank Germany, Chancellor Scholz, and Ukraine, President Zelenskyy, for organising this conference. 
“United in Defence, United in Recovery, Stronger Together” is today’s headline.
“Unity” is the reason we are here today. 
We stand united in our response to Russia’s aggression, and united against Russia’s breach of international law.
We admire and respect the courage and resilience of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. We stand united with Ukraine.
When I say this, I speak for all of Finnish society. Finnish people, cities and companies are united with Ukrainian people, cities and companies.  
While Finland continues to support Ukraine militarily, we are also prepared to take responsibility in key civilian areas, such as the environment and education.
Education is key to the success of any modern society.
Finland, based on its own experience, is committed to rebuilding and modernising education in Ukraine. 
We are supporting Ukraine in the “New Ukrainian School” reform. We are also happy to join the newly formed and very promising “Skills Alliance for Ukraine”.
Our serious concern is that millions of children’s schooling is being disrupted in Ukraine because there are no shelters in schools. Hundreds of school buildings have been destroyed by Russia. This is something I really want to draw your attention to.
Finland is ready to work with Ukraine and to share our experiences and practices in planning and building civil defence shelters. At the same time, there must be a significant international effort to build shelters for Ukrainian schools and other critical infrastructure.
Investing in shelters means investing in Ukraine’s future generations.
That moment last December, when we in the European Council decided to open accession talks with Ukraine, was a remarkable sign of European unity. Ukraine’s determination and strong will to reform has become clear. We know that Ukraine’s future is European. 
Thank you.