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Finland preparing to send arms to Ukraine

News agency STT reported on Monday afternoon that Finland's government has made a unanimous decision on the issue.

Finland's Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Cen). Image: Markku Ulander / Lehtikuva

Citing a government source, news agency STT reported on Monday afternoon that Finland's government has made a unanimous decision to send arms to Ukraine.

The news agency said that the military gear in question included firearms and ammunition.

Members of the government will discuss the matter at a press conference scheduled for Monday evening, which will be attended by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP), Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) and Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Cen).

NCP demands Finland send weapons to Ukraine

Earlier on Monday, opposition National Coalition Party (NCP) had demanded that Finland send weapons to Ukraine as the nation battles an invasion by Russia.

In a tweet on Monday morning, NCP leader Petteri Orpo wrote that the party hopes Finland's government will meet soon and reconsider a decision reached on Sunday to only send material assistance to Ukraine, but not weapons.

"The time for negotiating is now over. I reiterate yesterday's demand from the NCP that the government must urgently convene and correct yesterday's decision and send weapons to Ukraine in support of the defensive struggle," Orpo wrote, adding "now it's urgent".

On Sunday, the government announced it would send Ukraine 2,000 bulletproof vests, 2,000 composite helmets, 100 stretchers as well as equipment for two emergency medical care stations.

Several EU countries have pledged to send weapons to Ukraine.

On Sunday, Defence Minister Kaikkonen did not rule out the possibility that Finland would supply weapons, adding that the country was part of a wider European effort to help finance weapons for Ukraine.

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

This story was edited at 13:17 on 28 February 2022, to add STT report of government's unanimous decision about providing arms to Ukraine.