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Finnish PM: 'We have to make sure the Ukrainians win'

Prime Minister Marin said Finland was joining Nato in order to avoid war.

Suomen pääministeri Sanna Marin Maailman talousfoorumissa Sveitsin Davosissa 17. tammikuuta 2023.
Marin told CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria that the rules-based order of the world has been challenged. Image: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Lehtikuva
Mark B. Odom

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said Finland will support Ukraine's defence against Russian aggression for as long as it takes.

The premier made the comments during an interview session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.

In the session with CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria and a live audience, Marin said the world must ensure that Ukraine wins its fight against Russia.

"We don't know when the war will end, but we have to make sure that the Ukrainians will win. I don't think there's any other choice. If Russia would win the war, then we would only see decades of this kind of behaviour ahead of us," Marin said.

"I think other countries are looking very closely at what is happening now in Ukraine. And if Russia would win, then it would send a message that you can invade another country, you can attack another country and you can gain from that," she continued.

Changed world

Marin also noted during the interview that the world changed a good deal during her tenure as PM.

"The world today is a very different place than it was three years ago. And, right now, the war does not only concern Ukraine but actually the whole world. The rules-based order [of the world] has been challenged more. And more authoritarian regimes are taking a more of a stand and democratic values are challenged. And this is the new geopolitical reality that we are in, and we have to face that — not be naive, not be blue-eyed, and we really have to face what the world is today," Marin told Zakaria.

Finland and its Nordic neighbour Sweden applied for Nato membership not long after Russia attacked Ukraine, a deadly invasion which began nearly 11 months ago.

The move was a major shift from Finland's long-held position of neutrality. Marin said the reason that decision was made was to avoid war.

"We want to become a member of Nato because we never want war in Finland again. We have been at war with Russia before, we have very good military capabilities but we have to make sure that [Russia is aware of] the threat of Article 5 — that if a Nato country is attacked, the others [alliance members] will defend it," she said.

"Also, of course, Finland will defend other countries when it becomes a Nato member," Marin continued.

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