Tuesday. 31.01.2023
WAR IN UKRAINE

Finland seeks to buy Israeli anti-aircraft system, citing Ukraine war

Israeli defence contractors Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Systems were under consideration for the purchase

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (R) and Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen. Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Vnk.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (R) and Minister of Defense Antti Kaikkonen. Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Vnk.

Finland aims to buy an anti-aircraft defence system from Israel to help guard its long border with Russia, Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen said on Saturday, citing the current war in Ukraine.

Israeli defence contractors Israel Aerospace Industries and Rafael Advanced Systems were under consideration for the purchase, Kaikkonen told the Yle television broadcaster.

"The situation along our borders is peaceful, but we still have to be watchful and strengthen our defences," Kaikkonen said.

In December, Finland announced the purchase of 64 F-35 fighter jets from US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

Kaikkonen said he was in possession of information from the country's intelligence services indicating greater participation by Belarus in the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

Of all European Union member states, Finland shares the longest border with Russia. While it is not a NATO member, the current conflict has sparked renewed debate about joining the Western alliance.

EU support

Kaikkonen said he expected that other EU member states would not fail to act. "The partnerships that we have with different countries are so deep that I think if Finland was the target of an attack, other EU states wouldn't stand by quietly," he said

He added that there were no signs currently of a definite threat.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö conducted talks with US President Joe Biden in the White House on Friday, during which they agreed on closer cooperation on defence issues.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart, Magdalena Andersson, were to meet with Niinistö on Saturday on his return from Washington.

Finland seeks to buy Israeli anti-aircraft system, citing Ukraine war
Comments