Prime Minister Marin met leaders of North Macedonia
On Monday 20 June, Prime Minister Sanna Marin met Prime Minister Dimitra Kovačevski, President Stevo Pendarovski and President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi in Skopje, North Macedonia.
The topics discussed were Finland’s NATO membership process, Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and support to Ukraine, and North Macedonia’s EU accession process and bilateral relations, such as increased cooperation in energy issues. North Macedonia has also been interested in cooperation in the education sector.
As the most recent member of NATO, North Macedonia stresses the open door policy very strongly. The country has promised to ratify Finland’s accession as quickly as possible.
Prime Minister Marin thanked the North Macedonian leaders for their unreserved support for Finland’s aspiration to join NATO. Marin also said that, besides strengthening NATO, Finland’s membership would also have a positive impact on the security and stability of Europe.
Another topic discussed was Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine and support for Ukraine.
“We must increase our support to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, and we must stand together. This is the only way to make Russia end the war. Russia has changed the security environment in Europe, and we must tell our citizens very clearly how important it is to be united, decisive and firm,” Prime Minister Marin said at the press conference.
Finland is one of the strongest advocates of EU enlargement. Finland supports North Macedonia’s convergence with the EU and considers it important to start the accession negotiations soon.
The EU and Western Balkan leaders will have an informal meeting before the European Council on 23 June. The topics to be discussed include the activation of the enlargement process, impacts of Russia’s war of aggression on Western Balkans and increased cooperation.
Earlier on Monday Prime Minister Marin visited Montenegro and met the country’s leaders. On Tuesday, Marin will travel to Tirana, Albania, where she will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Edi Rama. In Zagreb she will meet the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and President Zoran Milanović.
Inquiries: Jari Luoto, State Under-Secretary for European Affairs, tel. +358 50 468 5949; Lauri Voionmaa, Special Adviser (International Affairs), tel. +358 50 421 0422 and Päivi Paasikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 547 6279, Prime Minister's Office