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Sanna Marin: Europe is not strong enough to stand against Russia alone

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Putin's attack on Ukraine has exposed European weaknesses and the strategic mistakes it made regarding Russia.

Anthony Albanese ja Sanna Marin kävelyllä, heidän edessään kävelee valkoinen koira.
Sanna Marin with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney 2 December, 2022. Image: Dan Himbrechts / EPA
Yle News

In an address on Friday in Australia, Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said that Russia's attack on Ukraine has exposed European weaknesses and strategic mistakes.

"I must be very honest, brutally honest with you, Europe isn't strong enough right now. We would be in trouble without the United States," she said in an address at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

Ukraine must be given "whatever it takes" to win the war, Marin added.

The AFP news agency highlighted a section of Marin's remarks where she spoke about the attitude of Estonia and Poland towards Russia.

"We should have listened to our Baltic and Polish friends much earlier," Sanna Marin said.

Marin pointed out that so far, Ukraine has received the most military, economic and humanitarian aid from the United States. The right lesson for Europe is to build strategic autonomy in key sectors, for example, the defense industry.

"We have to make sure that we are also building those capabilities when it comes to European defence, the European defence industry, and making sure that we could cope in different kinds of situations," she said.

The Finnish premier also warned against naivety regarding China, saying that countries like Australia and Finland should reduce their dependence on authoritarian states, especially in the areas of energy production and technology.

Marin stressed that Russia's occupation of Ukraine has shown how important closer cooperation between democratic countries is.

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