HELSINKI, Finland (BulgarianMilitary.com) – Due to the humanitarian situation in Yemen Finland will not issue new arms export permits to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as reported by the Finish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, learned BulgarianMilitary.com
A release dated 22 November 2018 said, “The Government discussed arms export matters and decided that in the current situation there are no foundations for new arms export authorisations to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. In its deliberations, the Government laid stress on the alarming humanitarian situation in Yemen, in particular.”
Finland is the latest country that reviews its exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as international attention focuses on Yemen as a result of warnings that the humanitarian situation for millions of Yemenis could worsen.
With that move Finland joins Germany, Denmark, and Norway that recently froze arms exports to Saudi Arabia over Yemen and the murder of high-profile Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi in Istanbul.
Earlier Thursday, Denmark said it will suspend military equipment exports to Saudi Arabia due to concerns over the situation in Yemen and the murder of Khashoggi.
On Tuesday, Germany bowed to pressure to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia and cancelled a deal for the delivery of twenty warships. In 2017, the arms exports of Germany to Saudi Arabia reached $105 million.
On 9th November, Norway said it would freeze all defence material export licenses to Saudi Arabia, as well as those for dual-use items.
It was explained from the Finish Ministry for Foreign Affairs that “Finland’s arms export is based on a careful case-by-case discussion,” as well as that it “observes the European Union’s arms export criteria, in which special attention is paid to human rights and to the protection of regional peace, security and stability.”
In 2017, the UAE was the biggest arms export customer of Finland as reported by the foreign ministry. Eleven export licenses were issued at the amount of €36,352,120. Saudi Arabia was granted 3 permits at the total amount of €1,508,970.
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Source: The Defense Post