Minister of Defence Mikko Savola (Centre) spoke to reporters in the Parliament House in Helsinki on Wednesday, 25 January 2023. Savola said Finland will contribute to the international effort to deliver battle tanks to Ukraine, adding that both the scope and nature of the contribution remain undecided. (Antti Hämäläinen – Lehtikuva)


MINISTER of Defence Mikko Savola (Centre) on Wednesday stated that Finland will take part in the international effort to deliver Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, according to YLE.

“We’re preparing this together with the Finnish Defence Forces. The final decisions will be made by the heads of state,” he declared, adding that both the scope and nature of the contribution remain to be decided.

“Finland’s contribution can’t be too large in light of our defence capabilities. We’re not a Nato member yet, and we can’t compromise on our own defence,” said Savola.

Finland, he estimated, could provide not only tanks but also training and maintenance services to Ukraine. Although the decisions on the details of the support package are to be made without delay, national decision-making processes and the transport of the tanks will inevitably take some time, he reminded.

He also reminded that the exact details of the package are unlikely to be disclosed even after the decisions have been made.

Germany and the United States on Wednesday pledged to supple advanced battle tanks to Ukraine to counter the invasion by Russia. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday put an end to weeks of speculation by approving sending 14 Leopard 2s to Ukraine, a decision that enables the delivery of the German-made tanks also by other countries, including Finland.

US President Joe Biden, meanwhile, approved sending 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT