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Speaker of Finnish parliament delivers entire speech in Ukrainian before Verkhovna Rada

Yussi Halla-aho equated Russia’s aggression against Finland and Ukraine, expressed disappointment post-Soviet Russia didn’t change, showed Finland’s solidarity with Ukraine including most Finnish MPs calling the Holodomor a Soviet genocide of Ukrainians.
Yussi Halla-aho. Screenshot from video

Finnish Parliament Speaker Yussi Halla-aho gave an address entirely in the Ukrainian language when speaking before the Verkhovna Rada on Saturday. He was among the speakers from six EU countries and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly president invited to address the Rada that day.

Halla-aho began, “Finland in 1939 faced the same kind of imperialist Russian aggression from the Soviet Union as Ukraine is facing today. On February 24, we Finns remembered well our own history.”

He expressed disappointment that after the Cold War and collapse of the USSR, “Russia did not change. As before, it still does not respect international law or its obligations. It does not value the lives of its own citizens or others.” Halla-aho continued: “Russia believes it has the right to veto the choices of its neighbors, even the right to veto their very existence. Russia respects and understands only strength.”

He noted, “Ukraine’s heroic resistance has emboldened and encouraged Finland to take action,” likely referring to its decision to join NATO and provide Ukraine military aid.

“Finland has already delivered 20 packages of military assistance to Ukraine and will continue supporting it as long as necessary,” Halla-aho stated.

Touching on the Holodomor famine, he explained, “Our parliament cannot issue declarations on historical events. However, last week leaders of parliamentary factions representing a majority of Finnish MPs signed a joint statement saying they consider the Holodomor to have been an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people by the Soviet regime.”

Throughout his address, Ukrainian MPs frequently interrupted Halla-aho with loud applause and standing ovations.

Russian propagandists took notice of Halla-aho for donating funds to have a message written on a Ukrainian artillery shell.

Halla-aho belongs to the right True Finns party. This summer he was chosen as their presidential candidate for Finland’s election at the end of January, though he currently ranks fifth in the polls.

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