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Finland to withhold development aid from countries supporting russia’s war in Ukraine, prioritizes aid to Ukraine

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Finland to withhold development aid from countries supporting russia’s war in Ukraine, prioritizes aid to Ukraine

In a significant policy shift, Finland’s new right-wing government has announced that it will cease providing development aid to governments and countries that support Russia’s ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio revealed the government’s stance in an interview with YLE on Monday, outlining the program’s guidelines.

Under the new government’s program, Finland will refrain from providing development aid to entities or governments that back Russia’s war of aggression. The program emphasizes the government’s commitment to redirect aid to prioritize Ukraine as a new recipient country.

Not only will development aid be reduced by millions of euros, but it will also be reallocated to focus on supporting Ukraine. Minister Tavio confirmed this shift, stating that Finland aims to support countries that align with its position and goals. However, specific countries that may face aid cuts were not disclosed, though Africa as a whole was mentioned as an area where support for Russia has been observed.

Finland has long-standing development cooperation with various African nations, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, and Tanzania. The government intends to monitor the stance of these countries closely regarding their support for Russia’s actions.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Finland has committed to allocating 0.7% of its Gross National Income (GNI) to development funding, as recommended by the United Nations. However, this target has only been achieved once in the early 1990s. Presently, Finland’s budgeted development cooperation for this year amounts to €1.177 billion, approximately 0.42% of the GNI.

The new government plans to gradually reduce development funding while taking previous commitments into account. By 2027, an estimated reduction of around €280 million in development funding is expected. This move reflects Finland’s determination to align its aid policy with its stance on Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.

The decision by Finland’s right-wing government has sparked discussions about the role of development aid in geopolitical conflicts and its potential impact on diplomatic relationships. As Finland’s aid distribution undergoes changes, it remains to be seen how other nations, particularly those affected by the aid reallocation, will respond to this new policy direction.

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