The U.S. on Wednesday approved the potential sale of guided multiple-launch rocket systems and related equipment to Finland.
What Happened: The Pentagon said the principal contractor would be Lockheed Martin Corp LMT for the deal valued at an estimated cost of $535 million approved by the U.S. State Department.
“Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to increase its national stock, bolstering the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank,” it said.
“The increased national stock is critical to Finland's defense and deterrence due to the deteriorated security situation in Europe,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto said he was counting on Hungary to ratify Helsinki's NATO application after he spoke on the phone with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
“Good that Finland can count on Hungary in our NATO ratification. I look forward to further strengthening our Fenno-Ugric connection also as allies,” Niinisto said on Twitter.
Why It Matters: Russian President Vladimir Putin — who has been demanding that the alliance stop expanding toward Russia’s borders — has threatened the Nordic nations with retaliation, including unspecified “military-technical measures,” if they move ahead with the plan to join NATO.
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