Western countries should strengthen defense as the conflict in Ukraine continues, Prime Minister Sanna Marin has suggested
European countries would be in a dangerous place now if it weren’t for the role the US is playing in the Ukraine conflict, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin claimed on Friday. She also urged Helsinki’s allies to step up efforts to build up defense capabilities.
During a visit to Australia, the Finnish Prime Minister suggested that Europe is not well suited to deal with the current crisis alone. “I’ll be brutally honest with you, Europe is not strong enough. We’d be in trouble without the US getting involved [itself] in Ukraine’s war,” she said, pointing to the enormous help Washington has given Kyiv.
According to Marin, Europe should do its best to become stronger: “We have to make sure that we also build these capabilities in terms of European defense and the European defense industry.”
She also noted that Russia’s military operation in Ukraine had changed Helsinki’s political calculus “overnight”. In May, Finland and its Nordic neighbor Sweden submitted applications to join NATO. Although the bloc complied with this request, the two countries’ bids have yet to be ratified by all of its 30 members.
The US-led alliance has repeatedly said that, while it supports Ukraine militarily, it is not a party to the conflict. On Thursday, however, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Washington and NATO of directly participating in the conflict.
He also said that Moscow does not need the kind of security architecture that Western countries are trying to build without Russia and Belarus. “European security is now about being completely subservient to the United States,” Lavrov added.
The minister went on to remind that, while France and Germany have in recent years sought independence from US military protection, the US is determined to make NATO indispensable and wants to pit other European nations against Russia.