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Savola: Finland will send more defence materiel to Ukraine soon

Finland's new defence minister said that the content of the 12th aid package will be settled in the next few weeks.

Mikko Savola tiedotustilaisuudessa.
Mikko Savola (Cen) took over as interim defence minister on 5 January. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Yle News

Finland is preparing to send a new shipment of defence equipment to Ukraine, Defence Minister Mikko Savola said on Saturday.

Decisions on aid will be made in the next few weeks, Savola said on Twitter. For security reasons, its contents will not be disclosed, he added.

This will be the twelfth shipment of defence equipment sent by Finland since Russia's attack in February.

"Finland supports Ukraine. We are preparing the 12th aid package. Decisions will be made in the coming weeks. The content of the support is being prepared together with the Defence Forces, ensuring that we do not weaken our own defence capability," Savola wrote.

"International discussions are continuously taking place. For security reasons, Finland will not reveal the content of the support in public," he added in a second tweet.

On Friday evening, Savola told commercial broadcaster MTV that government and the Finnish Defence Forces were considering sending tanks to Ukraine. Savola said he was pleased that the international discussion on how to help Ukraine was becoming increasingly coordinated.

Häkkänen: Finland should donate Leopard tanks if other EU states do

Also on Friday, Parliamentary Defence Committee chair Antti Häkkänen of the main opposition National Coalition Party (NCP) told MTV that Finland should provide Ukraine with German-made Leopard 2 battle tanks if other European countries decide to do so. Germany must approve any deployment of the tanks by other countries.

panssarivaunu parolannummella talvella.
A Leopard 2 tank at the FDF Armoured Brigade base in Hattula (file photo). Image: Ville Välimäki / Yle

Last week German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said that no other countries were currently supplying such tanks to Ukraine and that Germany would not do so unilaterally. On Thursday the Wall Street Journal reported that Poland was planning to donate Leopard 2 tanks to Kyiv.

Häkkänen is a former cabinet minister – and likely to become one again if the NCP wins this spring's elections, as suggested by opinion polls.

Savola, meanwhile, took over as interim defence minister on Thursday, replacing his Centre Party colleague Antti Kaikkonen, who is on paternity leave.

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