EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has assured Finland that the bloc will stand firmly by the country's side in light of the stand-off between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
Finland had always shown solidarity as an EU member and could therefore rely on the EU's complete solidarity now, von der Leyen said on Thursday after a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in Helsinki.
Finland has a longer border with Russia than any other EU member state, and while it is not a member of NATO, it enjoys close ties with the military alliance.
The EU Commission president said that she hoped the crisis over Ukraine triggered by Russia could be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.
She added that in the event of further military aggression against Ukraine, there would be financial and economic sanctions, but that the hope was that Russia would return to the "path of peace and dialogue."
Marin asks for 'dialogue'
Marin said the only way to find peaceful solutions was through dialogue.
"We all want Russia to de-escalate the situation and we want to find peaceful ways out of the situation," she said.