Vladimir Putin's war of aggression in Ukraine has been a failure on a strategic level, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.
Blinken made his remarks while on an official visit to NATO's newest member, Finland, two months after membership was officially ratified, and anticipating the July NATO summit to take place in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Public broadcaster Yle reports that Blinken ended his five-day trip to Sweden, Norway and Finland on Friday, giving a speech at at Helsinki City Hall where he hit out at Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine.
He said: "Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine has been a strategic failure," Blinken said, adding that the US was working with Ukraine and other countries to find a peaceful way to bring the war to an end," Yle reports on its English-language page.
Blinken, who has Ukrainian-Jewish roots, continued that: "We will support efforts – whether by Brazil, China, or any other nation – if they help find a way to a just and lasting peace," Blinken went on, before an audience of politicians and diplomats, including Estonia's ambassador to Finland, Sven Sakkov, and Portugal's ambassador to Finland and to Estonia, Francisco Vaz Patto.
Yle reported that Blinken said that Finland's leadership and partnership "has helped to achieve historic results for Finland, for Europe, for the relationship between us and in many ways for the world, so I couldn't be more grateful," adding that: "I want to stress our joint determination to also have Sweden as our NATO ally before the Vilnius [NATO] summit.
"Russia's illegal war of aggression in Ukraine has continued for over a year now and shaken the very foundations of the European and global security order.," the secretary of state went on, wrapping up his
Blinken ended his speech with a reference to "sisu", a famous Finnish term, which carries roughly the same meaning in Estonian too and equating to "grit" or determination, to the regulation rapturous ovation.
Secretary of State Blinken met with Finnish foreign affairs minister Pekka Haavisto while in Helsinki (pictured). The latter praised US-Finnish bilateral relations, but also pointed out that Sweden is still waiting to become a NATO member stage.
Haavisto also noted that Finland would continue to support Ukraine in its defense against Russian aggression and for the preservation of the rules-based order and sovereignty of all countries.
The U.S Secretary of State also met with outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin while in the Finnish capital, Yle reports.
Secretary of State Blinken last visited Estonia in an official capacity in March 2022.
Editor: Andrew Whyte