Skip to content

Finland sends Ukraine helmets, but also joins EU proposal to finance weapons

The Defence Minister on Sunday said Finland was joining a European effort to help finance weapons for Ukraine.

Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) speaking to the press on Sunday, 27 February. Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Finland on Sunday pledged material assistance to Ukraine, but also joined EU efforts to help weaponize it.

Finland said it was sending Ukraine 2,000 bulletproof vests, 2,000 composite helmets, 100 stretchers as well as equipment for two emergency medical care stations.

"Hopefully we can get the aid out already tomorrow [Monday]," Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Cen) said.

The announcement followed Finnish President Sauli Niinistö's decision to channel more aid to Ukraine after a recommendation from the government.

Finland also said it would be sending tents and medical protective equipment through the EU in the coming days.

Also on Sunday, the government formally granted Estonia a licence to send artillery and ammunition to Ukraine. The Baltic country had previously purchased the artillery from Finland, which in turn had bought it from Germany.

Finland backs EU weapons proposal

The EU is meanwhile proposing funds to help Ukraine finance weapons. This is the first time EU funds are being directed toward lethal weapons, according to Kaikkonen, who said Finland supports the proposal.

"In terms of arms assistance, Finland is joining a joint EU package that also includes weapons assistance and other military elements," Kaikkonen said.

News agency Reuters on Sunday quoted EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as saying, "these aim to finance the supply of lethal material to the heroic Ukrainian army, which is fighting with fierce resistance against the Russian invaders and provide urgently needed non-lethal supplies, such as fuel."

Finland previously refused to export weapons to warzones.

"The issue here is that we have a war in the middle of Europe. Finland and the EU have strongly condemned Russia's actions. This has led to a re-evaluation [of our previous policy].

During the month of February Finland has issued some 14 million euros in aid to Ukraine.