STOCKHOLM, August 7. /TASS/. Europe will face an economic slump due to the conflict in Ukraine, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said in an interview with Sunday’s issue of Finland’s Maaseudun Tulevaisuus newspaper.
"People in Finland and in other EU countries will have to put up with the fact that the economy will not be growing year after year. It may tell adversely on Europe’s unity, because development stops abruptly and the number of challenges increases," he noted.
That is why, in his words, the key tasks are to ensure "Finland’s self-reliance in the sphere of security, despite the process of accessing to NATO, and its independence" in issues of food security.
The president stressed that today it is important to take into account "risks of the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict." "The state of relations between Russia and the West, and between Russia and Finland in particular, will depend on the development of the situation in Ukraine," he said.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation in response to a request for help by the heads of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no plans of occupying Ukrainian territories, but aimed to demilitarize and denazify the country. After that, Western countries imposed large-scale anti-Russian sanctions and increased weapons supplies to Ukraine.