Finland’s Defence Minister has indicated that Ukraine has approached Finland for fighter jets in its ongoing conflict with Russia, but the minister said the country is not willing to part with them.
Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen stated that the Ukrainian government approached Finland following a visit by Prime Minister Sanna Marin to Kyiv and wished to discuss the possibility of Finland sending F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets to the country.
“From the point of view of the defence administration, this is not an acute topic of discussion. In the next few years, we will need the Hornets strongly for our own use,” Kaikkonen said and added that he was against the idea of giving Ukraine the aircraft, broadcaster Yle reports.
“As I understand it, Ukraine hopes that the United States will also participate in these discussions,” Kaikkonen said but claimed Finland has not had any discussions with the U.S. administration on the matter so far.
Russia vowed to destroy all jets donated after Poland and Slovakia, backed by equipment and finance from the U.S. announced deliveries. https://t.co/m6A5tXCkNW
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 17, 2023
Prime Minister Marin, meanwhile, has been more tight-lipped on the issue saying, “Of course, I cannot report confidential discussions between different countries. On a general level, I can say that Ukraine has asked Finland for help, just like all other member states and partner countries of the European Union, in order to get armaments into the country.”
“As far as Finland is concerned, we have also received requests for different materials that Ukraine needs, and we are currently preparing 14 arms aid packages for Ukraine,” she said.
“This issue of fighter jets is by no means new, it has not only come up in relation to the visit to Kyiv, but this debate has been going on at a general European level for a very long time,” Marin said.
Finland has agreed to a new arms package for Ukraine, which will cost around 161 million euros and will include heavy weapons, including tanks and ammunition. So far, Finland has given around 910 million euros toward the Ukrainian war effort.
The demand for fighter jets by the Ukrainians has been ongoing for months, but last week both Poland and Slovakia were the first to agree to send jets to Ukraine, with Poland initially sending four Mikoyan MIG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighter jets, which were originally built by the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
Slovakia has also promised to deliver 13 MIG-29s, although not all of the planes are functional and some may be used for spare parts.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com.
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