Opinion

TNT Plant: Finland Trying to Cash in on Ukraine Conflict After Severing Ties With Russia

 / Go to the mediabankRussian-Finnish border at the Nuijamaa crossing / Go to the mediabank

Finland will build a new TNT production facility to address the shortage of high explosives in Europe caused by NATO’s military aid to Ukraine.Finland has jumped at the opportunity to cash in on Europe’s growing demand for explosives amid the Ukraine conflict.The Nordic country is set to urgently build a new trinitrotoluene (TNT) production plant, Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen announced on May 5.”[TNT] is needed not only for Finland, but in general for equipping ammunition both in Finland and in other NATO countries,” Dmitry Stefanovich, a research fellow at the Moscow-based Institute of World Economy and International Relations with the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), told Sputnik.”It is now obvious that there is not enough production of both components and finished assembled ammunition. And, accordingly, Finland decided to occupy this niche,” he added.”Considering that [large quantities of explosives] have already been utilized in Ukraine, Israel, and other regions, demand is expected to continue expanding,” Stefanovich continued. “The Finnish authorities have acknowledged the presence of demand and a market, leading them to capitalize on the opportunity.”MilitaryFinland Seeking to Build TNT Production Plant Due to Lack of Explosives – Report6 May, 04:32 GMTStefanovich argued that Finland was rushing to begin building work on the plant in order to secure a foothold in the market for the long term.Asked how NATO was likely to react to the Finnish initiative, the expert suggested that the North Atlantic alliance would welcome the decision — even though the new factory would be within the reach of Russian missiles.TNT, one of the earliest-discovered and most stable high explosives, is used in artillery and mortar shells — making it indispensable for the Kiev regime and its Western enablers amidst the ongoing Ukraine conflict.Currently, the EU’s sole TNT plant is in Poland. That factory’s production capacity is deemed inadequate to meet the demands of the Ukrainian armed forces and NATO’s European member states.MilitaryFinland Mulls NATO Troop Presence – Chief of Defense11 April, 10:58 GMTFinland signaled its readiness to produce the explosives just after just after its NATO membership bid was approved, the researcher noted, adding that the nation’s leadership was trying to justify its usefulness for the military bloc. On the other hand, Helsinki is seeking to capitalize as much as possible on its new status, according to Stefanovich.”Finland has joined NATO, abandoning its long-standing status as a neutral country. That’s why they are trying to make hay while the sun shines,” the expert said. “Not every European country is ready to sharply increase costs, invest in the production of ammunition, and generally increase defense spending. This is accompanied by big problems, as we know, in most NATO countries.”Russia has already warned Finland that its accession to NATO and sabre-rattling are fraught with risk of a conflict between Moscow and the military bloc, especially given that Russia and Finland share a 1,300-km (800-mile) border. In the wake of Finland’s accession, Russia began strengthening its military capacity in its west and northwest in order to ensure security of its borders.Russo-Finnish economic relations have also deteriorated dramatically. According to Helsingin Sanomat, Finnish companies lost over €4 billion after withdrawing from the Russian market between February 2022 and March 2023.The European Union’s embargo on Russian energy exports also hurt the Nordic nation’s businesses and industries. Without Russian supplies of electricity, oil and gas, Finland’s energy system has become vulnerable.In January 2024 the Bank of Finland signaled that the Finnish economy was in recession, forecasting that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) will continue to contract through 2024. The production of TNT is unlikely to compensate for the damaged economic ties with Russia.WorldRussia-Finland Trade Has Fallen 83% in Two Years8 February, 10:30 GMT

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