Finland to Construct the largest stockpile in EU in Case of Chemical and Nuclear Threats
Finland is in the process of constructing the largest strategic stockpile in the European Union, aimed at storing essential supplies in case of chemical and nuclear threats. The decision to build this facility was made amid the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to a recent report by Bloomberg, the stockpile will house protective and measuring equipment, detectors, tests, as well as medications and vaccines, all intended for use by Northern and Eastern European countries during emergencies. The majority of the construction is projected to be completed by 2024, with Finland receiving €242 million in funding from the European Commission for this initiative.
The project manager from the Finnish Ministry of Interior, Tarja Rantala, explained the necessity of this stockpile due to the increased likelihood of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats stemming from the current global situation. She added that the decision to build the facility was also influenced by the onset of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Four similar stockpiles are planned for Europe in total (the others to be located in France, Poland, and Croatia), with the Finnish facility being the largest among them.
In April, Finland joined NATO, becoming the 31st member of the alliance. This accession significantly extends the length of the NATO-Russia border, as highlighted by Financial Times.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg previously stated that the expansion of NATO was catalyzed by a "military special operation" in Ukraine initiated by Russian President Putin. Stoltenberg suggested that Putin aimed to diminish the influence of the North Atlantic alliance but achieved quite the opposite result.
As reported earlier by The Gaze, Finland is revoking the business license of the Russian consulate in Turku starting from October 1, 2023. This decision was reached after discussions between the country's president, Sauli Niinistö, and the Committee of Ministers for Foreign Policy and Security.
The closure of the Russian consulate in Turku is a response to the closure of the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elina Valtonen, it is evident that relations between Finland and Russia have significantly deteriorated following Russia's unlawful war against Ukraine.
"The announcement by Russia to close the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg was absolutely asymmetric and a new measure against Finland," says Valtonen.
Turku Mayor Minna Arve sharply criticized the presence of representatives from the Russian state in the city. She highly appreciates the decision to close the Russian consulate-general.