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Finland could train Ukrainian military – president

KYIV. Jan 24 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Finland could train Ukrainian servicemen, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto has said at a joint press conference with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Tuesday.

"We can train Ukrainian servicemen. We are one of a few countries in Europe that have conscription to its Armed Forces. And they [the Armed Forces] must annually receive and train people. There are facilities for this purpose, special premises, opportunities and extensive experience of trainers," he said.

To a question about the transfer of Leopard tanks by Finland to Ukraine, the Finnish president expressed the opinion that a strong armored unit should be created in Europe for the transfer to Ukraine.

"We should take into account the fact that the discussion on [the transfer of] tanks [to Ukraine] in such a large unit – take one tank here and one more there – is not enough. There should be a strong unit in Europe. We are discussing the possibility of creating such a unit, and we are considering opportunities… We will make our contribution to the creation of such a unit," Niinisto said.

At the same time, he noted that Finland should be very attentive and cautious regarding the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

"Among the countries that have Leopard tanks, and there are more than ten of such countries in Europe, Finland has a unique position, because we are the only EU member state, and not a NATO member, which has the second in Europe longest borderline with Russia following Ukraine," he said.

"We should always have this in mind while thinking about our role and place," the Finnish president said.