UPDATE - Zelenskyy says Finland to approve 18th package of defense support for Ukraine

UPDATE - Zelenskyy says Finland to approve 18th package of defense support for Ukraine

Ukrainian president, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo hold meeting in capital Kyiv amid 3rd Crimea Platform summit


By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday said that Finland will approve the 18th package of defense support for his country.

"Today, the (Finnish) Prime Minister informed me that in the coming days a new, 18th package of defense support will be approved. We really need all this," Zelenskyy said during a press conference with visiting Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo after a meeting in Kyiv.

According to a statement by the Ukrainian presidency, Zelenskyy and Orpo discussed defense and security cooperation between Ukraine and Finland and the Finnish premier was informed about the situation at the front line.

It also said that Zelenskyy invited Finland to start negotiations on a bilateral document on security guarantees for Ukraine.

"Finland has already joined the G-7 declaration, and now it is time for such bilateral work. I am confident that it will also be concrete and productive," the Ukrainian president said.

He thanked Finland for its assistance to Ukraine in terms of military and humanitarian aid, as well as sanctions against Russia, adding that Orpo will be taking part in the 3rd Crimea Platform summit to be held later in the day.

The Crimea Platform is a diplomatic initiative of Ukraine that is intended to be an international coordination mechanism to draw global attention to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The first summit was held on Aug. 23, 2021, with attendance from more than 40 countries, while the second summit took place on the same date last year.

Zelenskyy also said during the press conference that Ukraine is “very interested” in jointly producing Finnish armored vehicles in Ukraine.

For his part, Orpo said that he and Zelenskyy agreed on cooperation on the arms industry, but that they have a lot to do in this regard.

“We have high technology, they (Ukrainians) have a lot of experience, so it is a really useful and good idea,” Orpo expressed.

Zelenskyy later held separate meetings with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, the Croat and Bosniak members of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidential Council Zeljko Komsic and Denis Becirovic, and Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean.

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