US approves another missile sale to NATO claimants - M5 Dergi
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US approves another missile sale to NATO claimants

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The move comes amid a wave of proposed arms deals with European allies in recent weeks

The US State Department has approved another multimillion-dollar missile sale to Finland, the third in the past month, agreeing to send hundreds of axis-launched munitions to the Nordic country as it seeks membership in the NATO alliance.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified decision on Thursday, which said officials had approved a $380 million deal for 350 Stinger missiles and related equipment, as well as training and logistical support for the weapon.

Although the DSCA claimed that the proposed sale would not “change the fundamental military balance in the region”, it noted that it will “enhance Finland’s defense and deterrence capabilities” and serve US foreign policy interests.

The latest deal is the third major arms deal with Finland since the beginning of November. On Monday, DSCA announced a separate $323.3 million in sales for dozens of Sidewinder and AGM-154 missiles, while another missile deal worth 535 million dollars was approved on November 2. However, all three have yet to receive a final green light from lawmakers.

In November, a number of large arms sales took place to Washington’s European partners in addition to Finland, e.g Switzerland, Lithuania and Belgium, which seeks to purchase a variety of ammunition and weapon platforms. The Swiss and Belgian governments have asked to buy hundreds of millions of dollars in US-made missiles, while Lithuania wants to receive eight High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS).

Finland – which shares a 1,340 kilometer (832 mile) land border with Russia – applied to join NATO along with neighboring Sweden back in May, both expressing security concerns over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine. Regardless of Helsinki’s membership status, however, it has long enjoyed close ties with other Western militaries, including frequent joint exercises and regular arms purchases from the United States.

Russia has said that expanding NATO would not make the European continent more stable or secure, and while Moscow noted that it “doesn’t have a problem” with Stockholm or Helsinki, it nevertheless vowed to adjust its military posture in its northern region if the bloc puts to two new members.

With Hungary expected to ratify Finland’s and Sweden’s applications in the coming days, Türkiye will be the last remaining stop in the NATO bloc, which requires unanimous consent before new members are admitted. Ankara has accused the two Nordic states of harboring Kurdish groups it regards as terrorist organisations, and insists their concerns must be addressed before they will agree to expand the alliance.

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