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Finnish Defense Minister: Ukraine can use Finnish-provided weapons to strike Russia

by Kateryna Hodunova February 29, 2024 5:08 PM 2 min read
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen during a NATO-Ukraine Council in Defense Ministers Session, at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, on Oct. 11, 2023. (Simon Wohlfahrt/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ukraine can use Finnish-provided weapons to strike Russian territory, Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen told the Finnish Broadcasting Company on Feb. 29.  

Finland has not imposed restrictions on its military aid to Ukraine, Hakkanen added.

Finland approved its 22nd defense aid package to Ukraine worth around 190 million euros ($205 million) in February. As with its previous aid packages, Helsinki did not disclose what it had included in the packages or when it was delivered due to security reasons.

Hakkanen said restrictions have primarily been set by countries that have supplied Ukraine with long-range weapons systems.

"Ukraine should also strike military targets on the Russian side, if necessary. Otherwise, these military objects will strike on the Ukrainian side. This is an absolutely legal defensive struggle, which Ukraine is waging. The UN Charter allows attacking military targets across land borders," Jukka Kopra, a member of Finland's parliament, said.

"At the moment, the big countries that, among other things, have provided long-range missile systems, of course, also have the right to specify how they should be used," Hakkanen said, adding that Finland is in constant discussions with allied countries about restrictions on military aid to Ukraine.

Hakkanen also urged allied countries to provide Ukraine with more long-range missiles, including German Taurus systems.

"I urge Germany to seriously think about it. The German government knows that they would be of enormous importance. If they want to help Ukraine win, they could provide them," he said.

Finland has already provided 1.8 billion euros ($ 1.95 billion) in military aid to Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion.

Finland also decided to participate in the artillery and demining collations, one of many allied initiatives launched under the Ukraine Defense Contact Group to support individual sectors of Ukraine's Armed Forces.

Finland extends border closure with Russia for 2 months
Finland fully closed its border with Russia in late November 2023 to prevent an influx of migrants from entering the country via Russia. In November alone, around 900 third-country asylum seekers entered Finland from Russia.
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