US Secretary of State Blinken praises the “sisu” of the Finns and says that Russia’s war in Ukraine is a “strategic failure.”
Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, started an official trip to Helsinki on Friday, about two months after Finland joined NATO.
Blinken criticised Russia and President Vladimir Putin for the current war in Ukraine in a speech at Helsinki City Hall.
“Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine has been a strategic failure,” Blinken said, adding that the US was working with Ukraine and other countries to find a peaceful way to end the war.
Blinken said, “We will back efforts by Brazil, China, or any other country if they help find a way to a fair and lasting peace.”
At the end of his speech, Blinken used the Finnish word “sisu,” which means fierce drive and grit, and got a standing ovation.
Friday morning, Blinken met with Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish foreign minister. The two leaders signed a statement about how the US and Finland will collaborate on 6G wireless communications technology.
Haavisto welcomed Blinken to Helsinki at the signing event and said that ties were improving. He also said that Sweden was still waiting to join NATO.
“Our relationships with each other are better than ever. They strengthen our relationships in many important areas, like security, defence, and new technologies. “Finland’s membership in NATO opens up new ways for us to work together,” Haavisto said.
In his statement, Blinken said that Finland’s leadership and partnership “have helped to achieve historical results for Finland, Europe, our relationship, and in many ways for the whole world, so I couldn’t be more grateful.”
“I want to emphasise that we are both determined to have Sweden join NATO before the Vilnius meeting. Russia’s illegal war of aggression in Ukraine has been going on for more than a year and has shaken the very roots of European and global security.
Haavisto also said that Finland would keep helping Ukraine defend itself from Russian attacks.
Haavisto said, “Our resolve to defend the rule-based order and the sovereignty of every country is as strong as ever.”
On Friday, Blinken also met with Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), who is leaving her job.
On Friday, a big group from the State Department moved around the city, which slowed down traffic in the capital.
A state department plan about the visit says that after his official duties, Blinken went to Helsinki to meet with US embassy staff and their families.
Blinken will spend the last day of his five-day trip to Sweden, Norway, and Finland in Helsinki. According to the US State Department, the trip’s goal is to “deepen transatlantic cooperation on top national security and economic priorities.”