Finland rules out transfer of F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine
Hornet fighter (Photo:Emilio/www.flickr.com)
The Finnish Ministry of Defense has rejected Ukraine's request for negotiations on the transfer of the Nordic country’s F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets, news outlet Yle reported on April 11.
Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen has said that the fighters will be used by the Finnish defense forces over the next few years, after which their working life of about three decades will be over.
He said this was not the right time for a discussion about the possible transfer of the aircraft to Ukraine.
Kaikkonen added that Finland’s response had been conveyed to Kyiv last week.
In March, Ukraine approached the Finnish Ministry of Defense and proposed to discuss the possible transfer of F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine.
The request came after it was reported that former Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin discussed the possibility of transferring the fighters with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
On March 10, Marin said that her country might consider transferring its old F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine. She stressed that discussions on this issue were still at a very early stage and that broad international cooperation was needed.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, in turn, noted that the issue of transferring fighter jets to Ukraine, which Prime Minister Marin had said was possible, "has not been discussed with anyone."
After that, Marin issued a statement saying that no one had promised Ukraine the Finnish F/A-18s.
However, she said that Ukraine needs heavier weapons to fight Russia, and that is why this issue should be discussed at this stage.
We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News