Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is hosting leaders from Portugal, Lithuania and Finland in Kyiv this week after returning from his own tour of European nations.
This is the first time Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo has visited the Ukrainian capital as he was only sworn in two months ago. During the trip, Orpo said that Finland’s “strong and unwavering support to Ukraine” is set to continue, according to a government press release.
Finland has supplied Kyiv with 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion) worth of aid, 1.2 billion of which were in defense packages, the Finnish statement added.
During a joint news conference, Orpo told journalists that Finland is making the final preparations for its 18th defense aid package for Ukraine, adding that further details will be announced later this week.
Zelensky publicly thanked Finland for the “17 defense assistance packages already provided,” adding that the two leaders discussed Ukraine’s “priorities” for the next package.
Orpo also sent a strong message of support for Ukraine’s bids to join both the NATO military alliance and the European Union stressing that “Ukraine belongs in the West – in the European Union and NATO.”
One engagement included a meeting on Wednesday with Lithuania’s president, Gitanas Nausėda, a long-time supporter of Ukraine to discuss the Ukrainian counter offensive.
In a post on his official Telegram channel, Zelensky said the pair discussed the “current situation on the battlefield and the urgent needs of Ukrainian defenders” alongside ways to shore up food security for Ukraine.
Nausėda said in a post on “X,” formerly known as Twitter, that he used the trip as an opportunity to reiterate Lithuania’s commitment to “supporting Ukraine until victory.” To show this sustained support, the Baltic state will deliver NASAMS air defense systems to Ukraine next month, according to Nausėda.
Portugal’s head of state, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, also arrived in Kyiv for a two-day visit on Wednesday, timed around celebrations marking Ukrainian Independence Day on Thursday.
De Sousa traveled alongside the Portuguese foreign minister, João Gomes Cravinho, to Kyiv and is set to meet Zelensky on Thursday, according to CNN affiliate, CNN Portugal.
The Portuguese leader visited the Kyiv suburb of Bucha on Wednesday, spending time at the Church of St. Andrew, where a mass grave was discovered in April 2022 after Russian forces withdrew from the area.
“What happened [here] was very intense, very shocking, very inhumane and inhuman, and that’s precisely why we are searching for the appropriate means for the trial and punishment,” the Portuguese president said.