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Finland says it must ensure Ukraine wins war against Russia


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WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Finnish leaders say they must provide Ukraine with more weapons and support to ensure it wins its war against Russia.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the comments Wednesday in Auckland during the first visit by a Finnish prime minister to New Zealand and Australia. Among the goals of the visit are to improve diplomatic and trade relations.

“We need hard power when it comes to Ukraine,” Marin told reporters when asked how soft power influencing smaller countries like Finland and New Zealand could come into play.

“They need weapons, they need financial support, they need humanitarian assistance and we also need to make sure that all refugees fleeing Ukraine are welcome to Europe,” Marin said.

Since the war began, both Finland and Sweden have abandoned longstanding policies of military non-alignment and Apply to join NATO. Both countries are still seeking endorsements from Turkey.

Marin said the war felt very specific to Finland due to the 1,300-kilometer (800-mile) border it shares with Russia. She said Finland has delivered 10 arms shipments to Ukraine.

“We have to make sure they win,” Marin said.

She said Western countries also need to ensure sanctions are “more and more difficult for Russia” because the war is affecting everyone, not just innocent civilians killed in Ukraine but and people all over the world with higher energy prices.

Marin met her New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern before the two leaders held a joint press conference.

When asked about their role as female leaders, Ardern said she and Marin feel a responsibility to use their voices on behalf of persecuted women, like those in Iran. .

Ms Ardern said: “The focus of our conversation was on what more can we do together to support other women in other countries facing dire circumstances, where we see the most basic human rights are being persecuted and violated”.

Marin, meanwhile, tried to brush off criticism of her as a party prime minister, after a while Leaked video This year shows her dancing and singing with friends at a private party.

She says she has more important issues to focus on, including the coronavirus pandemic, war in Europe, the energy crisis and the looming economic crisis.

“So I had a few days to spare during the summer,” says Marin. “And if the media wants to focus on it, I have nothing to say. You are free to discuss and write what you want, but I am focusing on the issues that are on our agenda.”

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