Moscow [Russia], March 1 (ANI/Sputnik): The Finnish government has decided to provide the Ukrainian authorities with military assistance, including assault rifles, anti-tank weapons, and combat ration packages, the Finnish defense ministry said on Monday.
“On the proposal of the Government, the President of the Republic decided today that Finland will deliver 2,500 assault rifles, 1,50,000 cartridges for the attack rifles, 1,500 single-shot anti-tank weapons and 70,000 combat ration packages to Ukraine as material aid,” the ministry said in a statement.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin noted at a briefing that the decision was “historic,” since the country had never previously supplied weapons to conflict zones.
“This is not a war of ordinary Russians. In Finland, there is no place for discrimination and harassment against Russians or Russian speakers,” Marin stressed.
According to Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen, the military assistance will be delivered to Ukraine in two batches – on Tuesday and on Wednesday. Poland pledged to help with the transit, he said.
Norway also decided to provide Ukraine with additional military support, in particular, M72 light anti-tank weapons, the Norwegian government said on Monday.
“Like other countries, Norway has an idea of the military equipment Ukraine needs. With that in mind, the armed forces assessed what Norway can offer promptly. The government decided to donate up to 2,000 M72 anti-tank weapons,” the government said in a press release.
The Italian Council of Ministers approved on Monday a decree also providing for military assistance to Ukraine amid Russia’s operation in the country.
“The order allows the transfer of military means, materials and equipment to the governmental authorities of Ukraine,” the council said in a statement, following a meeting on the Ukrainian crisis.
The Italian government’s decree must be approved by the parliament to come into force.
On Sunday, both Oslo and Helsinki pledged to provide Kiev with helmets and bulletproof vests. In addition, Finland decided to sent stretchers and equipment for emergency medical care stations in Ukraine. Italy, in turn, approved the allocation of 110 million euros ($123 million) to support Ukraine.
On Thursday, Russia began a special operation to demilitarize and “denazify” Ukraine, responding to calls for help from the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics in countering the aggression of Ukrainian troops. Moscow has repeatedly said that it has no plans to occupy the Ukrainian territory.
Western countries have been arming Ukraine for months prior to the Russian operation. According to reports, Ukraine has now asked the EU for more arms, including air-defense and anti-missile systems, as well as cannons, mortars, and automatic weapons. (ANI/Sputnik)
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Source: The Print