Finland to send more military equipment to Ukraine amid NATO ambitions

Associated Press/David Goldman

Finland announced Friday it would be sending more military equipment to Ukraine as NATO considers the country’s application to join the alliance. 

“Finland will not forget Ukraine and the Ukrainians. We will continue to help: We will send a new package of defense material,” Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said. 

Finland’s defense ministry said the government voted to approve sending additional defense equipment to Ukraine. However, what equipment Finland will provide, how it will be delivered and when it will be shipped to Ukraine will not be announced, according to the ministry. 

The ministry said the decision on what equipment to send was based on the needs of Ukraine and its military. 

The support for Ukraine comes while both Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO, a move that has been slammed by Russia. 

During an appearance with President Biden last month, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said, “We are ready to contribute to the security of the whole alliance, making the commitment to mutual security guarantees that being a NATO ally entails.”

“Now that we have taken this first decisive step, it is time for NATO allies to weigh in. We hope for strong support from all allies and for swift ratification of our membership,” he added. 

Their applications came after Russia threatened the countries against applying for membership and violated Finnish and Swedish airspace with fighter jets.

The U.S. has put its full support behind Finland’s and Sweden’s bids for membership, with a Senate panel unanimously approving a resolution to urge NATO to accept the countries this week.

Biden said NATO should “quickly” approve the two countries’ membership.

“While their applications for NATO membership are being considered, the United States will work with Finland and Sweden to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression,” the president said.