Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin was only 34 years old when she assumed the role leading the Nordic country in 2019. At the time, she was the youngest head of government in the world.
Since then, her youthful mettle has been tested in ways that some leaders twice her age have never had to face, including navigating a transformative global pandemic and working to keep aggressive neighbor Russia at bay after it invaded Ukraine.
In an interview for this week’s 60 Minutes, Marin told correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi that it is vital for Ukraine to win the war. If they do not, Marin emphasized, it sends a message that countries like Russia can attack another country and gain from it.
As a result, she said, European and Western allies must do everything they can to give Ukraine what it needs.
“They are representing all of our values, European values, and they are fighting for all of us,” Marin said.
Marin also told Alfonsi that Europe must stop being naïve about authoritarian countries around the world that are acting more aggressively. One way Finland can do that, she said, is to end its energy dependence on countries like Russia.
‘We have to make sure that we are also building that kind of strategic autonomy together with our partners like the United States so that we are not as dependent on authoritarian regimes that we are now,” Marin said.
Finding new, renewable energy sources has another benefit for the small Nordic country: It helps Finland do its part to combat climate change.
“Fighting climate change needs to be done right now,” Marin said. “We don’t have any time to spare.”
To tackle issues like climate change and global loss of biodiversity, Marin said countries need leaders who come from different generations.
“I think that that the younger generation, they can really see how urgent many of the issues are that we are facing,” Marin said.
The videos above were produced by Brit McCandless Farmer and Will Croxton. They were edited by Will Croxton.