Finland to cement boost in ammunition production for Ukraine before end of 2023
Minister of Defense of Finland Antti Hakkianen. Photo: EPA

In the next few weeks, Finland will make a final decision on increasing the production of artillery ammunition for Ukraine, announced Defense Minister Antti Häkkänen, writes the Finnish outlet Iltalehti.

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"We have completed negotiations on how Finland will increase the production of heavy ammunition for Ukraine. This decision will be made in the near future," Häkkänen said.

The volume of the increase in the production of ammunition will reach tens of millions of euros, writes the Finnish publication.

According to the minister, the issue will probably be resolved before Christmas. Therefore, Ukrainians who defend their country in the war with Russia will receive a valuable and much-needed Christmas gift from the Finns.

"We announced a plan to significantly increase the production of ammunition. The goal is to support Ukraine even more than now. At the same time, we continue to increase the readiness of Finland and the Scandinavian region for the production of ammunition," Häkkänen said.

In March 2023, the European Union adopted a plan to provide Ukraine with ammunition, which provides for the purchase of 1 million shells within 12 months. In November, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, said that the EU would probably not fulfil its promise.

According to Häkkänen, Finland appealed to NATO and the EU, especially to the major European member states, to increase aid to Ukraine with weapons.

"The arming of Ukraine is a matter of vital importance for us. The priority of our influence in the EU and NATO is to push large countries, especially in Europe, to increase the production of ammunition," the Finnish defense chief stated.

Häkkänen hopes that Finland's example will force other countries to fulfil their promises to increase the production of artillery ammunition.

On October 26, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said that the European Union should "stop freezing in the headlights while brave Ukrainians die."

In mid-November, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius admitted that the EU would not be able to supply Ukraine with 1 million artillery shells by the spring of 2024.