Finland’s prime minister is open to discussions on donating F-18s to Ukraine

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Monday that she is ready to discuss the possibility of donating F-18 fighter jets to Ukraine, which will soon be replaced by modern F-35s, according to AFP.

Sanna Marin and Volodymyr ZelenskyPhoto: Poole / Ukrainian Presidency / ZUMA Press / Profimedia

Kiev has recently acquired Western tanks, particularly the German-designed Panther 2, and is demanding modern fighter jets to protect Ukrainian airspace from Russian attacks.

The Ukrainian military has proposed that it receive F-16s, the most available American-made aircraft, which are increasingly being replaced by newer models.

Finland, which operates the F/A-18 Hornets in particular, announced in December 2021 that it would order 64 F-35As from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

“We have new F-35s coming in … when these Hornets are removed, we can discuss their future use,” Marin told reporters on Monday.

However, the F-35s won’t arrive until 2025.

During a visit to Kiev on Friday, Finland’s prime minister raised the issue, sparking controversy in his country.

“I think we can discuss the Hornet, the possibility of handing them over to Ukraine, the training that will be required,” he said.

His statements came under fire after the media reported that he had not previously discussed the matter with the head of state and the defense minister.

Petteri Orbo, leader of the opposition National Alliance, said the prime minister’s statements were “irresponsible” and that he had made promises he “cannot keep”.

Follow the latest developments on the 383rd day of the war in Ukraine in LIVETEXT on HOTNEWS.RO.

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