14 March 2023

Did the Finnish Prime Minister promise Hornet fighter jets to Ukraine?

The national TV-channel of Finland showed in their main news today Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) speaking to the press, saying, "I was a bit surprised by the strong reaction it got here in certain circles at home. Perhaps this shows that elections are always around the corner. Other parties have taken some liberties, for example, putting words in my mouth that I have never said."

Of course, it is possible that someone has put words in Marin's mouth, and I will not comment on that. However, in this situation, it is important to repeat exactly what she said in Ukraine. Therefore, I will copy the central content of Marin's statement from a newspaper's article where it was published word for word.

Firstly, the Prime Minister said that "we know the schedule for our future fighter jets, how we will get them to Finland, and yes, I think we can also have a discussion about the Hornets, whether it would be possible to transfer them to Ukraine." Additionally, she stated that "Finland is in an interesting position precisely because we have made the decision on a new acquisition, and we have existing equipment and can, of course, evaluate the use of that equipment".

Based on those comments, dear reader, you can draw your own conclusions on how Marin's words are meant to be understood, and how they have been interpreted by the listeners.

In my opinion, with those words, Marin clearly and unambiguously informed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people that Finland is in a position to both transfer Hornet fighter jets and is considering doing so - she even emphasized this twice.

And I can't possibly believe that Zelensky, nor his people awaiting aid, could have interpreted our Prime Minister's words in any other way. Nor do I believe that Marin intended them to be interpreted differently than how I have written.

We can only speculate on the reasons for Marin's statement. Perhaps she acted in good faith and genuinely wanted to transfer Finnish fighter planes to a people in dire straits. And perhaps she wanted to initiate a discussion on the matter domestically.

Or perhaps she has become fond of the immense admiration she has received worldwide for repeatedly taking a strong stance in support of Ukraine during the ongoing war. And maybe she thought that her interview in the midst of the war would generate more of the same - who among us hasn't enjoyed those moments in life when we have basked in someone else's expressed admiration.

The third option could be that Sanna Marin acted as the leader of the Social Democratic Party and believed that the strong support of Finns for the Ukrainian people could help her party win the elections in early April, if she promised that Finland would help where larger Western countries have hesitated. And thereby she could even get a second term as the country's most influential politician, that is, as the Prime Minister.

The situation becomes tragically comical by the fact that we don't really have anything to offer Ukraine. The Finnish Hornets will be used up in the Finnish Air Force and therefore wouldn't be of much use in Ukraine's fight against the Russians.

Former commander of the Finnish Defense Forces, General Jarmo Lindberg, tweeted about this, stating that "any retired aircraft has very few years left if everything goes according to plan. In addition, the spare parts inventory is of course being depleted, as there will be no need for parts in the future. Permission must be obtained from the USA for further use, but there is no remaining lifespan."

Unfortunately, I have to admit that while Marin gained great popularity with her internationally noticed appearance and convincing performances during the pandemic, her later period as the destroyer of national wealth and party princess has eroded my perception of her ability as Prime Minister. And this recent fighter jet opening certainly doesn't help - and I say this without any sugarcoating.

The original blogpost in Finnish: Sanasta Sannaa ja sarvesta miestä

Previous thoughts on the same topic:
A gift from the free world to Ukraine
Independence day of Finland now and 83 years ago
Finland after the Russian war in Ukraine

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