Finland Says Cannot Send Many Tanks To Ukraine As It Needs To … – UrduPoint News

HELSINKI (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 13th January, 2023) Helsinki is ready to consider supplying Kiev with only a few Leopard tanks, since Finland, not being a NATO member yet, shares border with Russia and needs tanks for its own defense, President Sauli Niinisto said on Thursday.
“If a common European project on assistance to Ukraine is established, Finland‘s contribution is also needed. The number of tanks (that could be sent to Ukraine) cannot be large as Finland shares border with Russia and is not a NATO member,” Niinisto was quoted by Finnish news agency STT as saying.
Earlier in the week, the Yle broadcaster reported, citing sources, that Finland had yet to decide on the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine and was waiting for decisions from Germany and other major countries rather than be the first to make a decision.
Finland has over 200 Leopard 2 tanks, according to the news outlet, but only few of them can be given to Kiev, with the delivery of German-made Leopards requiring Berlin‘s re-export license.

Media reported on Monday that France and Poland were pushing Germany to equip Ukraine with its Leopard 2 tanks. However, German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said later that day that Berlin did not intend to supply Ukraine with its Leopards.
Western countries ramped up their military support for Ukraine after Russia launched a special military operation there on February 24, 2022. In April 2022, Moscow sent a note to NATO member states condemning their military assistance to Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that any arms shipments on Ukrainian territory would be “legitimate targets” for Russian forces.
In May 2022, three months after Russia launched its military operation, Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership, abandoning decades of neutrality. Only Hungary and Turkey have not yet approved the membership of the two new candidates out of the 30 members of the alliance.
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