Defence Minister Carl Haglund says in an interview with joint venture news service Lännen Media that he has “severe doubts” towards Finland buying Russian military equipment. He claims in the paper that there is no way of telling “what back-door systems” have been installed in the planes’ components.
“And we can’t trust that the jets would be functional in a crisis situation,” Haglund goes on. “Would we be able to service and maintain them, or find the right spare parts for them?”
Haglund says that in selecting new military equipment, the decision has to be sound in economic, political and – most importantly, he says – purely technical terms.
In the interview, Haglund says that Russia has proven itself to be “completely untrustworthy” in the past 18 months.
“Russia has severely violated European safety and has flouted international agreements,” Haglund says. “Russia says one thing but does another. I do not trust Russia at all, and I could never be in favour of purchasing Russian military jets.”
Lännen Media says the working group for a future jet deal is led by ex-Air Force commander Lauri Puranen. Haglund says that the group has not received political guidance, but that he finds it doubtful that they would propose the purchase of a Russian military aircraft.