By Jennifer Hansler, CNN
The Biden administration on Thursday approved a $380 million sale of missiles to Finland, just days after approving a separate $323.3 million arms sale to the Nordic nation.
The administration informed Congress it had approved the possible sale of Stinger anti-aircraft shoulder-fired missiles and related equipment, according to a news release from the US State Department.
“It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Finland in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability,” the news release said.
“The proposed sale will improve Finland’s defense and deterrence capabilities. Finland intends to use these defense articles and services to increase its national stock,” it continued. “This critical platform will bolster the land and air defense capabilities in Europe’s northern flank, supporting the U.S. European Command’s top priorities.”
The potential arms sales come as Finland, which shares a border with Russia, seeks to join NATO. Both Finland and Sweden announced their intention to join NATO in May, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a sudden shift in attitudes toward joining the bloc.
The reason most countries join NATO is because of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which stipulates that all signatories consider an attack on one member an attack against all. Article 5 has been a cornerstone of the alliance since it was founded in 1949 as a counterweight to the Soviet Union.
The administration on Monday informed Congress of its approval of the possible sale of tactical missiles and Joint Stand Off Weapons to Finland.
Monday’s proposed sale would “improve Finland’s air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons capabilities and will positively impact U.S. relations with countries in the Nordic region,” the notice said.
“Finland intends to use these defense articles and services for its fighter aircraft fleet. Finland will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.”
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CNN’s Jack Forrest, Rob Picheta and Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.