Although Finland has a large defense arsenal, Kivinen emphasized Finland’s motivation to defend itself as a target of attack.
In a survey conducted by the Ministry of Defense in May, four out of five respondents stated that they were ready to take part in national defense if Finland was attacked.
A Reuters article mentioned Finland’s history of conflict with its eastern neighbor and how the division of the 1,300-kilometer border has shaped the Nordic countries’ military readiness.
"We have systematically developed our military defense for precisely this type of warfare, which is being waged there (in Ukraine), where massive firepower, armored forces and also the Air Force have been used." Kivinen stressed.
Finland’s military strength
Finland has 280,000 soldiers ready for the conflict, and an additional 870,000 have been trained as reservists, the result of all men’s compliance with national military service, unlike many other Western countries in the post-Cold War era.
In addition to its forces, Finland has one of the strongest artillery forces in Europe and has built an arsenal of cruise missiles with a range of up to 370 kilometers. In the coming years, four new corvettes for the Finnish Navy, 64 F-35 fighters for the Air Force and almost 2,000 drones will increase this firepower.
"Ukraine has been a hard chew (for Russia) and so would Finland." the general said in an interview.
Despite the country’s large army, Kivinen welcomed Finland’s decision to apply to NATO. NATO membership would benefit Finland’s defense by strengthening its early warning capacity, as it would be part of the organisation’s joint airspace control.
Kivinen also explained that NATO’s collective defense – an attack on one member is an attack on all members – would act as a strong deterrent against Russian aggression.
Although he believed that joining NATO would strengthen Finland’s defense capabilities, the general clarified that "The main responsibility for Finland’s defense remains with Finland."
Source: The Nordic Page