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Prime Minister Marin at European Council meeting: Ukraine is fighting for the international rules-based system

Government Communications Department
Publication date 23.3.2023 22.55
Press release
Prime Minister Marin talking to the media before the meeting
Photo: EU Council

In its meeting on 23, the European Council discussed the EU’s support for Ukraine and the global effects of the war. Also present at the meeting were UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the latter of whom joined the EU leaders via videoconference. The second main theme of the day was strengthening Europe’s long-term competitiveness.

According to Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Europe and its partners must convince the international community, and especially the Global South, that supporting Ukraine is about defending the rules-based international system.
Ukraine’s military success is a prerequisite for a just peace, the Prime Minister emphasised. The current level of support is not enough; the EU must also increase its deliveries of heavy weaponry to Ukraine.
“Europe must be able to respond to this challenge. It is also important to find a quick solution for increasing the capacity of our defence industry,” Prime Minister Marin said.
In its conclusions on Ukraine, the European Council welcomes the decision of the Council of the European Union on the urgent delivery of ground-to-ground and artillery ammunition to Ukraine and on the joint procurement of ammunition. 

“In addition to these decisions, it is essential for our long-term support that we raise the total funding of the European Peace Facility by EUR 3.5 billion,” the Prime Minister said.
The European Council also discussed the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court to Russian President Vladimir Putin and stressed the importance of increasing sanctions, ensuring their effective implementation and preventing and countering their circumvention. 
According to Prime Minister Marin, efforts to increase pressure and sanctions against Russia and the actors that support it must continue. The forced transfer of civilians and especially children to Russia is a war crime, and sanctions must be targeted at those responsible.
In the discussion on competitiveness and the economy, the Prime Minister noted that the EU can only achieve global leadership by harnessing its strengths, such as a well-functioning and truly competitive single market. The Prime Minister also stressed the strategic importance of open and rules-based international trade in the current geopolitical and economic situation.
Other key themes for Finland in the conclusions include staying at the forefront in the use of digital solutions, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computers, microelectronics and 6G, and seizing the opportunities offered by the circular economy and bioeconomy.
After the European Council on Friday 24 March, the leaders of the euro area will meet for a Euro Summit focusing on the economic situation in the euro area and on policy coordination.

Inquiries: Jari Luoto, Director General, EU Affairs Department, 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