Finnish PM says Russian actions in Ukraine a 'turning point'

·2 min read

By Natalia Zinets

KYIV (Reuters) - Finland's prime minister said on Thursday Russia's actions in Ukraine were a turning point for the world and relations with Moscow could not go back to how they were before its invasion.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin made her comments during a trip to Ukraine that included visiting the towns of Irpin and Bucha where Ukraine suspects Russian troops carried out atrocities, an allegation denied by Moscow.

"We, Finland, support all the actions of the International Criminal Court to consider these crimes, collect evidence for future proceedings and convict Russia," Marin said after meetings with Ukraine's president and prime minister.

"What happened, what Russia did is a turning point for the entire European family and the whole world. We see that the old arrangement has been destroyed and there is no return to the former relationship," she said through a translator.

She described Russia's actions in Ukraine as "an attempt against the principles of building a common European home."

Russia has denied targeting civilians and dismissed allegations that its troops carried out atrocities as a "monstrous forgery" aimed at denigrating the Russian army.

Finland, a member of the European Union, shares a 1,300-km (810-mile) border with Russia. In a policy change following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the Nordic country said this month it wanted to join the NATO defence alliance.

Helsinki has also provided Ukraine with military assistance and backed Kyiv's bid to join the EU.

"For us, Finland's military assistance is very valuable," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on Facebook, thanking Helsinki for its support.

"Weapons, sanctions policy and the unity of our partners in the issue of Ukraine's accession to the EU - this is what can provide strength in the defence of our land."

Other European leaders to visit Kyiv since the war began include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

(Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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