Finland approves use of its weapons by Ukrainian Forces against targets in Russia

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen announced that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are allowed to strike targets on Russian territory using Finnish weapons. She clarified in an interview with the newspaper Uusi Suomi that Ukraine is engaged in a defensive, and therefore, it has the right to target military objects in the aggressor nation for self-defense. The government in Helsinki has not placed specific restrictions on the use of the assistance provided but expects Ukraine to use these weapons in accordance with international law, Valtonen added.

Recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, in an interview with The Economist, stated that Western countries should permit Ukraine to strike military targets in Russia using the weapons supplied. Stoltenberg reiterated this position at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Sofia, urging participants to lift restrictions on the use of Western weapons by Ukrainian forces. According to Stoltenberg, the “red lines” set by some NATO countries have “tied the hands” of Ukrainians, a situation that needs to change particularly in consideration of the severe situation on the Ukrainian front in the Kharkiv region.

The following day, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell endorsed Stoltenberg’s view, stating that allowing Ukraine to use Western weapons to target sites within Russia “in accordance with the norms of warfare is entirely feasible” and does not violate international law. Borrell noted that such a decision is increasingly significant despite some countries fearing further escalation with Russia, emphasizing that Ukrainians should not be deprived of their right to self-defense due to escalation risks.

Germany remains one of the countries excluding the possibility of lifting the prohibition on using transferred weapons against targets in Russia, along with Italy. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz reiterated his stance against allowing Ukraine to strike military targets on Russian territory using German-supplied weapons. Scholz stated that clear guidelines for arms deliveries have been established between Berlin and Kyiv, which are currently working effectively. Similarly, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed skepticism towards Stoltenberg’s statements and called for caution.

Meanwhile, several politicians from Germany’s ruling coalition and opposition have voiced their support for lifting restrictions. Also in favour are French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Minister David Cameron. The United States, however, remains opposed to allowing strikes on Russian targets using American weapons.

  War in Ukraine, Finland