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Finnish minister calls on West to find funds 'immediately' to boost arms supplies to Ukraine

by Kateryna Denisova March 2, 2024 11:58 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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Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen has urged Western allies to increase support for Ukraine “immediately” and provide it with more weapons, the Finnish public broadcaster Yle reported on March 2.

Kyiv is being confronted with critical shortages of ammunition, as $61 billion in funding from the U.S. remains stuck in Congress, causing defense aid deliveries to run dry.

"Funds to support arms for Ukraine must be found immediately," Hakkanen noted, saying that “Europe has not realized the seriousness of the war through the eyes of history.”

The minister also said that European countries succeeded in increasing their own weapons production and “are close to achieving the goal.”

In December 2023, Hakkanen said Finland was planning to boost its artillery ammunition production “in a few weeks” to arm Ukraine amid worries that the EU would fail on its promise to supply Kyiv with 1 million shells by March 2024.

Czech President Petr Pavel said at the Munich Conference in February that Prague had identified 500,000 155 mm shells and 300,000 122 mm shells outside Europe. According to him, the ammunition could be shipped to Ukraine quickly if other partners provide financing.

Bloomberg reported on March 1 that Ukraine may receive the first of the 800,000 artillery shells "within weeks."

‘Our reserves will run out:’ Ukrainian artillery sounds alarm on Western shell shortage
Hiding beneath sparse winter cover in a crude, muddy ditch, a great steel monster lies in wait for an opportunity to attack. Adorned on either side with painted plus signs, the gun’s huge barrel looks up at the sky over the Bakhmut front line, across which thousands
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