May 19. 2024. 1:06

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Finland can sell heavy armament to Turkey, says defence minister


There is no reason why Finland cannot sell ammunition and heavy armament to Turkey, Defence Minister Mikko Savola said in an interview with Uusi Suomi on Sunday.

Interviewed by Uusi Suomi on Sunday evening at the Munich Security Conference, Savola (Center) said he saw no reason why Finland could not also sell ammunition and heavy armament to Turkey.

Approaching NATO membership seems to anticipate changes to Finland’s traditionally restrained arms export policy.

Finland’s foreign and defence ministries and the government closely and thoroughly scrutinise arms exports. However, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, these once stringent measures appear to have been somewhat relaxed.

Back in January, Finland, for the first time since 2019, gave green light to export defence material to Turkey when protective steel was granted a licence.

Savola did not hide the connection with the hoped-for NATO ratification.

The minister justified January’s decision by saying that through NATO membership, Turkey must be considered a future ally. According to him, relaxing arms exports regulations was part of the agreement signed at the NATO Madrid Summit in June last year.

”Now Turkey has signalled that Finland has met the criteria,” said Savola.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)