January 28, 2023

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Finland Grants New Permit to Export Defense Materiel to Turkey

Finland has greenlit the export of defense materiel to Turkey, mimicking a previous move by its fellow NATO aspirant Sweden.The permit in question, signed by interim Minister of Defence Mikko Savola, concerns the export of reinforced steel by the company Miilux, headquartered in the city of Raahe.In 2021, Finland notably turned down Miilux’s application for export to Turkey. Two years prior, in 2019, a Turkish pension fund acquired 70 percent of Miilux, which manufactures reinforced steel for armored vehicles.Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu openly urged Finland to end its arms embargo on Turkey in order to garner Ankara’s support for its NATO bid.While placing no formal bans on arms exports to Turkey, Helsinki has nevertheless since 2019 consistently rejected any new export permits to Turkey, following Ankara’s ground offensive in Syria against the Kurdish forces it sees as terrorists.However, Finland started to reconsider its position following its joint NATO bid with Sweden in the spring of 2022. Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen, currently on paternity leave, previously ventured that Finland “little by little” should come to think of Turkey as a “future ally.”Subsequently, all 30 NATO states except Hungary and Turkey ratified their accession, for which unanimous approval is needed. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban pledged to approve both bids in 2023. Turkey, however, made staunch demands on the aspirants, urging them to take a tougher stance on Kurdish militants it considers terrorists in return for Ankara’s support.Earlier this week, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto ventured that his country may have to go ahead with its NATO application without Sweden, whose bid has been deferred by a spate of high-profile scandals that involve the hanging of Turkish President Recep Erdogan in effigy and the burning of a copy of the Quran in front of the Turkish embassy.Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson even said he “understood Finland’s frustration” and stressed that it cannot be stopped from entering NATO alone if Sweden were to be “permanently excluded.”Original News : https://sputniknews.com/20230126/finland-grants-new-permit-to-export-defense-materiel-to-turkey-1106713590.html

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