February 26. 2024. 6:27

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Finland to donate three Leopards to Ukraine

Finland will hand over three Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine in a new military aid package, Defence Minister Mikko Savola (Center) announced in a press meeting on Thursday.

As part of the package, Finland will send Leopard 2 de-mining tanks used for clearing unexploded ammunition and mines on the ground and will offer maintenance services and training, possibly to be carried out in Poland.

These de-mining tanks, which help battle tanks advance by clearing the path, will help Ukraine take back land areas now occupied by Russia, said Savola.

The tanks are part of Finland’s 13th military aid package to Ukraine worth €160 million. The combined value of all defence material packages submitted has reached €750 million.

Finland has some 200 Leopard 2A6 battle tanks and six Leopard de-mining tanks, three of which are now donated to Ukraine. When asked why more tanks were not handed over, Savola said Finland must also think of its security. Finland, not yet a NATO member, has a 1300-kilometre border with Russia.

For these same reasons, Savola declined to give more specific information about the aid package’s content and the manner of deliveries.

The Finnish Transport Workers Union (AKT) is currently on strike, and the country’s ports are closed. However, the workers’ Union has said it will not block the shipments of the Ukrainian aid package.

The Ministry of Defence also announced on Thursday that Finland will buy NLAW anti-tank missiles from a Swedish company Saab.

The overall value of the procurement without value-added tax is about €37 million and it will be done jointly by Finland, Sweden, and the UK.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)