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Finnish president visits Kyiv, meets Zelensky on Jan. 24

by The Kyiv Independent news desk January 24, 2023 4:54 PM 1 min read
The meeting of Finland's President Sauli Niinisto and President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Jan. 24. Photo: Zelensky's office.
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Finland's President Sauli Niinisto met with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Jan. 24.

According to Zelensky's office, the two presidents discussed defense assistance and the supply of Western tanks to Ukraine, the preparation of the 10th package of EU sanctions against Russia, and Finland's involvement in the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula.

Zelensky informed his Finnish counterpart about the current situation at the front, Russia's plans for the near future, and Ukraine's needs on the battlefield, the report reads.

"Today, we talked about the creation of a separate platform to strengthen Ukraine with armored vehicles, including tanks. I am very glad that Finland will take its place there," said Zelensky at a news conference after the meeting. It is unclear yet in what format Finland would take part in this coalition.

"Taking one tank here, one is not enough. There must be a powerful unit in Europe. We are discussing the possibility of creating such a unit, and we are considering various options for Finland's participation," said the Finnish president.

The two leaders also talked about the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, the protection of the country's energy industry, bilateral cooperation in European structures, and regional security issues.

The Finnish president has also visited Borodianka and Bucha, towns in Kyiv Oblast devastated by Russia's war in March. "The atrocities committed here must not go unpunished," said Niinisto.

"I remain deeply impressed by the courage and determination of the Ukrainian people, soldiers and civilians alike. It will be remembered for generations to come," Niinisto wrote on Twitter.

On Jan. 20, Finland announced it would provide Ukraine with the largest aid package up to date, worth more than 400 million euros, which will include heavy artillery and munition.

According to the Finnish government, the combined cost of all the aid that Finland has provided to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's full-scale war amounts to 590 million euros.

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