Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin has used a speech in Sydney to warn that democracies must build “common lifelines” to rid themselves of critical technologies and energy from authoritarian states such as Russia and China.
Most important points:
- Sanna Marin was an outspoken critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pushing Western countries to impose sanctions
- Ms Marin says the war has exposed Europe’s dependence on Russian gas and other technologies
- She says democracies must work together to expand Europe’s defense capabilities
Finland made the historic decision to apply for NATO membership in May this year, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Ms Marin is one of Europe’s strongest advocates for the West to step up efforts to support Russia financially. to lay lamb.
Ms Marin praised Australia’s contributions of military equipment to Ukraine and said it was critical that the war be settled on Ukraine’s terms.
“Make no mistake, if Russia wins its terrible gamble, it won’t be the only one feeling stronger,” she told the Lowy Institute.
“Others will be seduced by the same dark agenda.”
The prime minister also warned that the war in Ukraine had exposed Europe’s continued dependence on Russian gas.
More broadly, she said democracies in North America, Europe and Asia needed to realize they were still dangerously dependent on authoritarian countries like Russia and China for a range of critical goods.
“We need to learn the right lessons from recent global challenges, wars and crises,” she said.
“In increasingly critical areas, from medical devices to new technologies and energy, we have become far too dependent on cooperation with regimes that do not share our common values.”
Those “dependencies” became “weaknesses more quickly and in more important areas of our society than we would like,” she told the institute.
And she said that meant democracies needed to develop more “strategic autonomy” and the capacity to obtain critical goods such as semiconductors and telecommunications equipment without depending on China.
“As digitalization becomes increasingly important…we must be able to trust technology. Our common lifelines must also be based on solid collaboration in scientific research and innovation,” she said.
Ms Marin said the EU and Australia should develop a new critical technology dialogue to encourage innovation while “building bridges across the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific”.
Europe is not strong enough
Ms Marin also said that while China had real influence over Russia, the West should not have to rely on it to stop the war in Ukraine, and that Moscow’s invasion had exposed Europe’s military weakness.
“I think China could play an important role in stopping the war, if they wanted to. It’s up to China how they want to act with regard to the war,” she said.
“But we shouldn’t just rely on that, China or whoever…we have to make sure we’re stronger.”
She said her “brutally honest” assessment was that “Europe is not strong enough right now”.
“We would be in trouble without the intervention of the United States [itself] in the war of Ukraine,” she said.
“The US has given Ukraine a lot of weapons, a lot of financial aid and a lot of humanitarian aid.
“Europe is not yet strong enough. We must ensure that we also build those capabilities when it comes to European defense and the European defense industry.”