Finnish President Sauli Niinistö thanked US President Joe Biden for his leadership during the current “very difficult times” when the two met in the Oval Office Friday to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Biden said he and Niinistö had been in regular touch for “some time now” and had “coordinated a united transatlantic response to Russian – holding Russia accountable for unjustified aggression against Ukraine.”
“We agree and it's not only attack on Ukraine, it’s an attack on the security of Europe and global peace and stability,” Biden said.
He thanked the Finnish leader for helping “Ukraine defend itself, and supporting humanitarian needs of the Ukrainian people.”
Biden said the relationship between the US and Finland was “vitally important to the United States,” and he hoped the meeting would be “another opportunity to further strengthen that relationship.”
Niinistö began by remarking that “we are really living in very difficult times,” before he thanked Biden “for the leadership you show.”
“We need it now,” he said, adding their “thoughts today, and we are with the Ukrainian people.”
“I hope that during this meeting and discussion, we can strengthen them more between the United States and Finland and the Nordic countries all together,” the Finnish president added.
Just before cameras left the room, Biden said that his former boss President Barack Obama “used to say we’d be alright if we left everything to the Nordic countries. We’d be fine.”
“We usually don’t start wars,” Niinistö replied.