Finnish Foreign Minister Valtonen calls on EU to allocate €20bn to fight Russia
Finland has called for EUR 20 billion to be allocated to Ukraine under the European Peace Fund, emphasising the importance of sharing this burden in Europe
This was stated by Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen in Brussels before an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, Ukrinform reports.
"Finland calls for the maximum amount (of aid to Ukraine - ed.) that we can achieve. The main idea is that by helping Ukraine, we help ourselves: we increase the capacity of our defence industry and strengthen our own deterrence system," the Finnish foreign minister said.
She noted that Finland believes it is important to achieve a common European response to the need to support Ukraine, adding that her country is one of the most powerful donors at the bilateral level when it comes to supplying Ukraine with military materials and defence equipment.
"But we need to agree on the distribution of the burden across Europe. We believe that this long-term commitment of 20 billion euros could be a fantastic achievement," the diplomat stressed.
Valtonen explained that her country joined NATO after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. It was then that the people of Finland realised that Russia was unpredictable and aggressive, and realised the need for additional protection.
"Finland has never been a threat to Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance, so we joined the Alliance to strengthen not only our security, but the security of the entire northern flank of Europe. Of course, we make our capabilities available for use by all allies," the minister said.
- Finland's Defense Ministry has announced that it will send up to eight fighter jets and a navy mine-sweeping ship to participate in NATO's joint operations in 2024.