HELSINKI (Reuters) -Finland will send weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Monday, in a shift of policy.
The shipment will include 2,500 assault rifles, 150,000 bullets, 1,500 anti-tank weapons and 70,000 food packages, Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen added.
“The anti-tank weapons can be used to fight armoured vehicles,” Kaikkonen told a news conference after a government meeting on Monday.
The decision means a shift in policy for Finland which has maintained an image of a non-aligned country since the Soviet Union in 1956 gave up a naval base it had leased in southern Finland after World War II.
Kaikkonen hinted at government scrapping Finland’s long-standing policy not to supply weapons to war zones on Sunday when he said the government was considering sending Ukraine material that could be used to kill. [L1N2V20JF]
The Nordic state on Sunday also decided it would supply Ukraine with helmets, bulletproof vests and first aid equipment and gave Estonia permission to donate Ukraine field guns previously owned by Finland.
(Reporting by Essi Lehto; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Alistair Bell)