Finland to purchase anti-aircraft systems from 'Israel'
Finland decides to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from one of two Israeli companies.
Finland has chosen to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from "Israel" and will choose between one of two Israeli companies, Finland's defense ministry said on Saturday.
Finland sent an invitation in October 2020 for bids to five companies, including the two Israeli companies with which it intends to continue negotiations now.
"In this scheme, we will upgrade the anti-aircraft defence's high-altitude ability and increase significantly its reach," the ministry said in a statement.
Earlier in January, Finland had said that it does not plan on joining NATO, but that it supports it against Russia; however, it seems it is now ready to discuss accession to NATO because the situation in eastern and northern Europe has significantly changed over the Russian military operation in Ukraine, President Sauli Niinisto said.
"Well, we have a changed situation in both Finland and Sweden. For the first time, we see that majority of people are pro [joining NATO], according to the polls, and this is something we are now open to discussion with our parliament. We try to define all the circumstances or the risks and all the benefits and to do that, quite efficiently as soon as possible," Niinisto told Fox News late Friday.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Friday that Russia will have to respond if Sweden and Finland become NATO members.
"All OSCE member states in their national capacity, including Finland and Sweden, have reaffirmed the principle that the security of one country cannot be built at the expense of the security of others," Zakharova told a press briefing in Moscow.
"Obviously, the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, which is primarily a military alliance as you well understand, would have serious military and political consequences," subsequently requiring Russia to make response steps.