Finnish leader says the brutal truth is Ukraine shows Europe isn’t ‘strong enough’ without the US
John Haltiwanger – December 2, 2022
- Finland’s prime minister said Ukraine showed Europe was too reliant on the US for security.
- “I must be brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough right now,” Sanna Marin said.
- “We would be in trouble without the United States,” she added.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Friday the Ukraine war showed Europe was too reliant on the US for its security.
“I must be brutally honest with you, Europe isn’t strong enough right now,” Marin said in remarks at a think tank in Sydney, according to Reuters. “We would be in trouble without the United States.”
She added: “The United States has given a lot of weapons, a lot of financial aid, a lot of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and Europe isn’t strong enough yet.
“We have to make sure that we are building those capabilities when it comes to European defense.”
The US has provided Ukraine with far more security assistance than any other country — roughly $19.1 billion since Russia launched its invasion in late February.
Russia’s unprovoked war in Ukraine marks the first major conflict in Europe since World War II, and it has prompted more urgent discussions on European security and the continent’s reliance on the US. It also pushed Finland and Sweden — two countries that have historically been neutral or militarily nonaligned — to join NATO (the process for their accession is ongoing).
In a speech last month to European diplomats, the European Union’s foreign-policy chief, Josep Borrell, questioned how the US would’ve handled the Ukraine war if former President Donald Trump were in office instead of President Joe Biden.
Trump was often critical of US security commitments in Europe and frequently chastised NATO allies over their lower levels of defense spending compared with the US. His first impeachment was also related to his dealings with Ukraine, including freezing aid to Kyiv, its capital, as he pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch an investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s son, over allegations of corruption.
Along these lines, Borrell said Europe needed to take more steps to ensure it’s not so reliant on Washington.
“What would have happened if, instead of Biden, it would have been Trump or someone like him in the White House? What would have been the answer of the United States to the war in Ukraine? What would have been our answer in a different situation?” Borrell said, adding: “These are some questions that we have to ask ourselves. And the answer for me is clear:
“We need to shoulder more responsibilities ourselves. We have to take a bigger part of our responsibility in securing security.”