Helsinki : Its relations with Russia have been strained ever since Finland expressed its desire to join NATO and applied for membership. Finland has abandoned its neutral policy to join the military alliance, which is the main reason for this tension. But the small country is not intimidated by Putin’s giant army. The head of Finland’s armed forces has said that Finland has been preparing for several decades to face a Russian attack. He said that if there is an attack, the country will give a strong resistance to it.

General Timo Kivinen said that the Nordic country has prepared a large arsenal. But aside from the military hardware, the people of Finland would be motivated to fight. Finland fought two wars with its eastern neighbor Russia in the 1940s. Finland’s inclination towards NATO is a cause of concern for Russia because the two have a land border of 1,300 km. The attack on Ukraine has raised Finland’s concern and that is why the non-aligned country has once applied to join NATO.
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‘Full preparedness to deal with a war like Ukraine’
“We have systematically developed our military defense to deal with a Ukraine-like war, which includes large-scale use of firepower, armored forces and air force,” Kivinen said. In the war against the Soviet army, Finland had killed one hundred thousand people and lost a tenth of its territory. Finland, with a population of 5.5 million, currently has a wartime force of 280,000 soldiers, including 870,000 reserve troops.

Defense spends 2 percent of GDP
Finland has Europe’s strongest artillery arsenal and cruise missiles with a range of up to 370 km. The country spends 2 per cent of its GDP on defense which is more than many NATO countries. Finland is ordering 64 F-35 fighter jets to US defense company Lockheed Martin along with four new warships.

82 percent ready to fight if attacked
It plans to order 2000 drones and deploy its own high-altitude anti-aircraft equipment. It is also building barriers along its border with Russia. In a Defense Ministry survey on May 18, 82 percent of people said they would be willing to take part in the country’s defense if Finland were to be invaded. Kivinen welcomed the decision to join NATO.

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