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Finland to grant Estonia permission to send howitzers to Ukraine

Pekka Haavisto.
Pekka Haavisto. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Finland will grant Estonia permission to send howitzers to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against Russian aggression — as long as Germany also agrees.

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on Wednesday, Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto said: "From our side, there is no obstacle if Germany gives the green light to pass them on."

Haavisto's comments are thought to be based on a briefing from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has not been published, public broadcaster Yle reported. The final decision will be made by the Ministry of Defense or the government.

Permission is needed from Finland as Estonia purchased the weapons from its northern neighbor in 2009. However, they previously belonged to Germany, so it also needs to sign off on the deal under international law.

Germany has been criticized internationally for not making a quick decision on the matter and for, so far, refusing to send lethal aid to Ukraine. It has sent 5,000 helmets, a field hospital and ordered more troops to its eFP NATO battlegroup in Lithuania.

Germany's ambassador to Estonia told ERR last month the decision is still being discussed in Berlin.

Estonia has also sent Javelin missiles to Ukraine after the U.S.A gave the go-ahead. The first batch of surface-to-air missiles arrived last week in Kyiv.

Javelin missiles being loaded onto a Ukrainian military An-26 transport plane. Source: EDF/mil.ee

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Editor: Helen Wright

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