Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin for the defense support packages her country is providing to Ukraine, as well as for its “participation in the tank coalition,” according to a statement released by his office Friday.
Marin was in Kyiv that day, where she held talks with Zelensky and Ukrainian officials, visited wounded soldiers and attended the farewell ceremony for a celebrated Ukrainian commander killed in Bakhmut, Dmytro Kotsiubaylo, whose call sign was “Da Vinci.”
The talks between the two leaders focused on defense and security, his office said.
“I am sure we will further strengthen this area of our cooperation for the sake of both our nations, our independence and sovereignty – of Ukraine, Finland and our European neighbors,” Zelensky said, calling Marin “a true friend of Ukraine, a defender of a free Europe.”
According to the statement, Marin said, “I am very pleased to meet with Mr. President Zelenskyy in person today in Kyiv. You are a symbol of courage, bravery and the prospect of a better future for Europe.”
“We support President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and want this plan to start working. It is only lasting peace that can give our family of European countries, the Euro-Atlantic family, calm and prosperity. We want Ukraine to join NATO as one of the allies,” she continued, according to the statement.
The leaders also discussed increasing sanctions pressure on Russia, Ukraine’s reconstruction, as well as the establishment of a special tribunal for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
On Friday, Zelensky also held talks with Norway’s Minister of Defense Bjørn Arild Gram, who was on a visit to Kyiv as well.