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Finland takes ‘historic’ decision to supply arms to Ukraine | War in Ukraine

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Finland will provide military assistance to Ukraine. This is a historic decision for Finlandsaid Prime Minister Sanna Marin during a press conference.

It will be 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 ammunition, 1,500 rocket launchers and 70,000 field rations, said its Defense Minister, Antti Kaikkonen.

The change of line by Germany was particularly significantsaid Kaikkonen.

Germany broke with its doctrine, announcing the delivery to Kiev of 1,000 anti-tank rocket launchers, 500 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, 9 howitzers, 14 armored vehicles and 10,000 tons of fuel.

Finland, which has a border of more than 1,300 kilometers with its Russian neighbour, has traditionally not exported arms to conflict zones.

This Nordic country had previously decided to send bullet-proof vests, helmets and a mobile hospital to Ukraine to support this country against the Russian army.

The support responds to Ukraine’s needs and we have consulted with them on this issue. Help will be delivered quickly. »

A quote from Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
Close up of Sanna Marin.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin at a press conference in Helsinki on Monday

Photo: Getty Images/AFP/Lehtikuva/JUSSI NUKARI

The government indicated that the delivery would be made in two stages, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Norway adds

For its part, Norway, which had already announced on Sunday the supply to Ukraine of equipment such as helmets and bullet-proof vests, indicated on Monday that it would also give Kiev up to 2,000 anti-tank weapons of the type M72.

So far, the doctrine of the country, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), but not of theEuropean Unionwas not to supply arms to countries at war.

Norway has a restrictive practice regarding the export of military equipment, but Ukraine is now in an extraordinary situation. »

A quote from Jonas Gahr Støre, Prime Minister of Norway, in a statement

Neighboring Sweden, also non-aligned, said on Sunday it was delivering anti-tank weapons to Kiev.

The two Nordic countries have reaffirmed their right to join NATO if they ever so wish, even if this membership is not on the agenda.

However, on Monday, in a poll commissioned by public television Yle, 53% of Finns said they were in favor of their country joining the military alliance.

A completely historic and exceptional resultCharly Salonius-Pasternak, senior research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, told AFP.

In January, a similar poll, published in the daily Helsingin Sanomatgave only 28% of opinions in favor of membership.

The only significant thing that has changed is that Russia attacked a neighboring country that is not a member of NATOunderlined Mr. Salonius-Pasternak.

Although the latest poll results may be an effect of the initial shock of the Russian invasion, the researcher said he thinks support is likely to remain at a higher level than before.

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