Finnish Defense Minister announces start of production of artillery ammunition for Ukraine
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen says that in the coming weeks the country's government will make an important decision to increase the production of artillery shells
The Finnish outlet Iltalehti reported the information.
"We have concluded negotiations on how Finland will increase the production of heavy ammunition for Ukraine's armament. This decision will be made very soon," Häkkänen said.
He emphasized that the decision is likely to be made before Christmas.
"The plans are ready. A plan to significantly increase ammunition production has been announced. We intend to support Ukraine even more than we do now. At the same time, we will further increase the readiness of Finland and the Nordic countries to produce ammunition," Häkkänen explained.
The cost of increasing ammunition production will reach tens of millions of euros. Nammo Lapua produces artillery shells in Finland and cooperates with the Defense Forces Explosives Center.
According to Häkkänen, Finland has appealed to both NATO and the EU, especially to the large European member states, to increase assistance to Ukraine in the form of weapons.
Häkkänen emphasized that arming Ukraine and its survival as an independent state is a matter of fate for Finland.
"We see arming Ukraine as a fatal issue. The priority of our influence in the EU and NATO is to push large countries, especially in Europe, to increase arms production," Häkkänen said.
The Minister of Defense promised that Finland would play a role in arming Ukraine that is bigger than its size.
"Finland can play a bigger role in the production of ammunition for Ukraine than its population," Häkkänen added.
Häkkänen expressed hope that Finland's example would make other countries fulfill their promises to increase production of artillery weapons.
"There are two reasons for increasing the production of ammunition: to support Ukraine in its defense struggle and to strengthen the defense capabilities of European countries. Over the past 30 years, this potential has been weakened too much," Häkkänen stated.
Earlier, Finland and the JEF defense cooperation countries stepped up surveillance of the Baltic Sea with 20 warships. Russia said that by doing so, the country is trying to provoke a direct war with Russia. However, the Finnish Defense Minister denied the Russian fakes.