INTERNATIONAL

Finland signs 10-year security pact with Ukraine, to step up military aid

Finland on Wednesday signed a 10-year security pact with Ukraine and will send it a further 188 million euros ($203 million) in military aid, Finnish President Alexander Stubb said after meeting Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv.

Finland’s President Alexander Stubb, left, shakes hands with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. (AP)

The accord covers security cooperation and long-term support including backing for Ukraine’s defence and security against two-year-old Russia’s invasion and for Ukrainian reforms and reconstruction, Stubb’s office said.

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“The 10-year agreement is proof of Finland’s long-term commitment to supporting Ukraine,” it said in a statement.

Finland will also provide another package of defence materials including air defence and heavy-calibre ammunition among other things, Stubb said at a joint press conference with Zelenskiy in the Ukrainian capital.

He said the fresh aid package would take the total Finnish contribution to Ukraine’s defence since 2022 to around 2 billion euros.

“We are not giving this military support only for Ukraine to defend itself, we are giving this military support for Ukraine to win this war,” Stubb said.

Ukraine relies heavily on Western air defence systems against its militarily superior foe and has been long pressing its international partners for bigger weaponry to ward off increasing Russian strikes on its cities and energy grid.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday Kyiv’s partners were not providing enough air defence to protect against Russian missile strikes even though they had more than 100 Patriot systems in their own arsenals.

NATO foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels to address how to put military support for Ukraine on a more sustainable long-term footing to guard against any critical cut in U.S. support if Donald Trump returns to the White House.

Finland is also preparing a four-year plan to support Ukraine with a budget for development and restoration of 290 million euros, Zelenskiy’s office said in a statement.

Finland shares a 1,340-km (830-mile) border with Russia and joined NATO last year, breaking with generations of military non-alignment to bolster its defences against any threat from its giant neighbour.

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