15.8 C
New York
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Häkkänen: Finnish Arms to Ukraine May Target Russia

The prospective leader of the Estonian Defence Forces conveyed to Yle that Ukraine should possess the capability to engage in warfare against Russia using weaponry provided by Western nations.

Finnish Defence Minister Antti Häkkänen (NCP) stated that Finland has not imposed any restrictions on the utilization of weapons supplied to Ukraine. He pointed out that limitations on weapon use have primarily been established by the nations furnishing Ukraine with long-range weapon systems.

Colonel Andrus Merilo, slated to become the next commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, criticized Western countries on Wednesday, stating that they erred in confining the use of provided weapons to Ukrainian territory.

Jukka Kopra, chair of the parliamentary defense committee, affirmed that Finland has not imposed such restrictions.

“Based on my information, Finland has not set such limitations, and Ukraine is entitled to employ these weapons against military targets, including those on Russian soil,” he informed Yle.

Häkkänen acknowledged that Finland is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with its allies concerning limitations on arms assistance to Ukraine. He emphasized that larger countries supplying long-range missile systems have a say in determining how these weapons can be employed.

For instance, during the initial months of the conflict, the United States effectively prohibited Ukraine from deploying US-supplied weapons against targets located on Russian soil. The Defence Forces responded to Yle on Wednesday via email, asserting that the political will of NATO and the broader Western community stipulates that Western weapons should not be utilized in attacks on Russian territory as a condition for military aid.

Nato: Ukraine has the right to hit military targets in Russia

Yle also inquired with NATO about whether member countries have provided Ukraine with instructions regarding the use and deployment of military aid. According to NATO’s response, any such directives are determined by individual member states.

NATO maintains the stance that Ukraine possesses the right to self-defense, encompassing the authority to target Russian military installations beyond Ukrainian borders.

Also Read: 23 European Parliaments Urge US House Speaker to Aid Ukraine

The Ministry of Defence informed Yle that Finland has not imposed any restrictions on the use of materials supplied to Ukraine. Finland has not disclosed publicly the specific weapons it has contributed to Ukraine.

In the current month, Finland dispatched its 22nd military aid package to Ukraine, bringing the cumulative value of such assistance to approximately 1.8 billion euros.

Defence minister urges Germany to consider sending missiles

Jukka Kopra emphasized, “If necessary, Ukraine should also target military objectives on the Russian side. It is a completely legitimate defensive battle that Ukraine is waging. The UN Charter allows military targets to be attacked across land borders.”

In an interview with Yle, the incoming commander of the Estonian Defence Forces, Colonel Andrus Merilo, expressed surprise at the perceived passivity of many Western nations in supporting Ukraine. Despite Ukraine’s repeated requests for additional long-range weapons in recent months, Merilo believes the issue lies more in a lack of will than a shortage of weapons or equipment. He is set to assume his new post in July.

Outgoing Finnish President Sauli Niinistö participated in a meeting in Paris on Monday, where leaders from over 20 European and North American countries agreed to increase arms aid to Ukraine.

Antti Häkkänen and Jukka Kopra advocate for providing Ukraine with more long-range missiles, citing Germany’s Taurus missiles as an example. Häkkänen urged Germany to seriously consider this, emphasizing the significant impact such missiles could have. Experts have suggested that Ukraine could employ such missiles, including potentially targeting the Kerch bridge to Crimea, a move that could decisively influence the course of the war.

Latest Posts

Don't Miss

Stay in touch

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.