Finland can continue offering military aid to Ukraine in the interim when there is no regular government in place after next month's parliamentary elections, according to Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Pöysti.
The chancellor issued his opinion on Thursday, in response to a request from the Ministry of Defence on the matter on 1 March.
Pöysti said that in this situation the responsibilities of preparing and planning military aid packages for Ukraine would fall within the competencies of the caretaker government. Caretaker governments perform governmental duties until a regular government is formed.
The chancellor noted that Ukraine is quite dependent on military aid from the EU and other Western countries.
"In that sense, it's about continuing the political commitments that Europe has already made," Pöysti told news service STT.
To date, Finland has decided to send 13 defence aid packages to Ukraine. Based on government and defence administration proposals, those decisions were ultimately reached by the president, Sauli Niinistö.
Finland preps 14th military aid package
However, the situation would have to be reviewed if the nature and amount of aid changes substantially, according to the chancellor.
After the current administration formally resigns following the parliamentary elections on 2 April, the caretaker government will officially have the same authority as the previous administration. However, traditionally, interim governments only deal with necessary routine and urgent matters that otherwise cannot be transferred to the incoming government. As such, caretaker governments are expected to refrain from making new or far-reaching political initiatives, according to the justice chancellor's office's website.
Finland is currently preparing a new, 14th military aid package for Ukraine. Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) ordered its preparation after returning to his post at the end of February.
Finland has decided on sending military aid packages to Ukraine at a pace of about once a month, which means that the following shipment will need to be decided on before the current administration steps down. After the elections, PM Sanna Marin's (SDP) government is expected to submit its resignation after the Easter holiday, which ends on 10 April.
The supreme guardian of the law, the Chancellor of Justice oversees the legality of the government and the president's actions. The chancellor also oversees that authorities act lawfully and fulfil their duties. Citizens can file complaints with the chancellor regarding the legality of an authority’s activities.