Prime minister Sanna Marin (sd) made a historic visit to New Zealand and spoke briefly to the media at an event broadcast by the 1News channel together with the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern’s with.
The prime ministers emphasized at the event that although the relations between the countries are warm, the relations between them can be further deepened. The agenda of the discussions included Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, the status of women and girls, and trade cooperation between the two countries.
Marin highlighted the similarities between Finland and New Zealand, as both are small democratic countries that have given political rights to women early in their political history.
“It was a privilege to experience the welcome ceremony. We are very impressed with how the role and rights of indigenous peoples are respected in New Zealand,” Marin said at the beginning of the event.
Prime Ministers raised the Russian war of aggression and its global implications into acute challenges.
“Our countries agree on very important issues, such as the values of democracy and a rule-based world. Our discussions were timely because at this time, the rules-based order on which our countries’ success is based is under threat. We discussed global challenges, of which Russia’s illegal aggression is perhaps the most acute,” Ardern said.
At the press conference, a media representative directly asked if the prime ministers met perhaps only because they are both young women. Ardern bluntly replied to the questioner that no one asked similar questions when the then US President Barack Obama met the then Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key’s.
“We meet because we are prime ministers,” Marin replied.
According to Marin, Ukraine needs to be supported with “hard power”, i.e. with military aid, among other things. According to him, the war can only end on the terms that Ukraine gives.
According to the prime ministers, the trade relations between the countries were heavily involved in the discussions. Among other things, the Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade traveled to New Zealand with Marin Ville Skinnari (sd) and a group of business leaders.
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