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Finland supplies laser equipment to Ukraine only for civilian use — foreign minister

March 03, 2015, 20:39 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian foreign ministry responded with great surprise to the Finnish government’s decision to supply to Ukraine laser range finders that might be used in fire control systems and individual firearms

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MOSCOW, 3 March. /TASS/. Finland has denied the laser range finders about to be supplied to Ukraine might have military uses.

"Finland does not provide military assistance to Ukraine," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said on Tuesday. He added that laser equipment from Noptel was meant exclusively for civilian use in monitoring systems.

Russia has a different vision of the affair. The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday said it had responded with "great surprise to the Finnish government’s decision to grant permission to the company Noptel for supplying one thousand laser range finders LRF200 that might be used in fire control systems and individual firearms," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"This step by the Finnish side will by no means help restore peace and stability in Ukraine, especially at this point, when after some no easy efforts the parties concerned have started making real progress along the path of settling the intra-Ukrainian conflict in keeping with the Minsk Accord, reaffirmed by the UN Security Council’s resolution 2202," the Foreign Ministry said. "The French government’s decision runs counter to claims by that country’s leadership about its commitment to the process of achieving a peace settlement in Ukraine and Finland’s own weapons supply liabilities and arouses deep regret."

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