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Media: Ukraine submits request for Hornet fighters from Finland

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 23, 2023 3:27 PM 1 min read
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Ukraine has submitted a request for trilateral negotiations between Kyiv, Washington, and Helsinki to discuss the transfer of F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets from Finland, according to sources cited by Helsingin Sanomat on March 23.

Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen will speak publicly on the topic on March 23, Helsingin Sanomat added.

The question of Finland providing Ukraine with decommissioned F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets arose following Prime Minister Sanna Marin's visit to Kyiv on March 10. During her visit, Marin said Finland would consider the idea.

Finland's arsenal of Hornets is set to be decommissioned between 2025 and 2031.

It was later reported by the Finnish Broadcasting Company on March 13 that Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that "no one promised Ukraine Finnish Hornet jets" but added that Ukraine needs heavier weapons to fight back against Russia.

According to the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Marin discussed the issue with Finland's President Sauli Niinistö.

The president told the media that speeding up the production of ammunition for Ukraine was more urgent than providing fighter jets, the Finnish Broadcasting Company reported.

So far, Poland and Slovakia have pledged to send Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. However, Ukraine is hoping for more advanced aircraft in the war against Russia.

Critics argue that allies’ reluctance to supply F-16, Typhoon, and Dassault fighter jets and long-range ATACMS missiles to Ukraine will prevent Kyiv from launching a successful counteroffensive and liberating the rest of Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s lack of advanced aircraft and missiles will likely prolong Russia’s war of aggression and result in thousands of deaths.

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