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Finnish defence minister attends Nato meeting on Ukraine situation

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this is a "defining moment for our security."

File photo taken on 27 October 2021: Sweden's supreme commander Micael Bydén, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Sweden's Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist and Finland's Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen during a press conference associated with military exercise SWENEX at the Marine regiment in Berga, Sweden. Image: Fredrik Sandberg / EPA
Yle News

On Wednesday, Finland's Minister of Defence, Antti Kaikkonen (Cen), is attending a working session of a Nato defence ministers' meeting at the military alliance's headquarters in Brussels to discuss Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Russia's invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally altered the European security environment. As a result, Finland has further intensified cooperation with Nato and other defence cooperation partners. I look forward to an important and serious discussion on the security situation in Ukraine," Kaikkonen said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Apart from representatives from Nato countries, Swedish, Ukrainian and Georgian defence ministers and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell were also invited to the meeting.

On Wednesday, Kaikkonen tweeted that he and Swedish defence minister Peter Hultqvist would meet separately with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Finland and Sweden are partners, not full members, of Nato.

On Tuesday, Stoltenberg said the following day's meeting was taking place during a "defining moment of our security."

"President Putin's brutal invasion of Ukraine is causing death and destruction every day; it has shocked the world; and shaken the international order," he said in a Nato statement.

"For many years, Nato Allies have trained tens of thousands of Ukrainian troops. Many of them are now fighting on the front lines. Allies have also provided significant quantities of critical equipment, including anti-tank and air defence weapons, drones, ammunition and fuel. Ukraine has a fundamental right to self-defence, enshrined in the UN Charter; and Nato Allies and partners will continue to help Ukraine uphold that right, by providing military equipment, and financial and humanitarian assistance," Stoltenberg added.

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