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​Estonia Decided to Give All its D-30 Howitzers to Ukraine 2 Months Ago, but Finland Only Now Agreed to the Transfer

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Soviet-made D-30 howitzer of the Finnish army / Photo credit: Puolustusvoimat
Soviet-made D-30 howitzer of the Finnish army / Photo credit: Puolustusvoimat

Why did déjà vu arise again, that in order to transfer howitzers to Ukraine, the Estonians again need someone's permission

During its meeting on Wednesday, March 9, the Finnish government issued a permit for Estonia to re-export Soviet D-30 howitzers and 122-mm caliber shells, which will be intended specifically for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Europian Pravda reports.

The number of ammunition and artillery systems authorized is not disclosed, but it is clarified that it is precisely those D-30 howitzers that the Estonian government promised to transfer to Ukraine as part of its military aid package for 112 million euros back in January 2023, as part of the Tallinn Pledge, where, in particular, Estonia promised to give all its howitzers to Ukraine.

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D-30 howitzer of the armed forces of Estonia, Estonia Decided to Give All its D-30 Howitzers to Ukraine 2 Months Ago, but Finland Only Now Agreed to the Transfer, Defense Express
D-30 howitzer of the armed forces of Estonia / Illustrative photo from open sources

The Military Balance 2022 guide indicates that as of February 2022, the Estonian armed forces had 36 D-30 howitzers at their disposal. Obviously, this figure does not take into account the transfer of a certain number of artillery systems for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which took place in April last year. But most likely, we are talking about a significant number of howitzers, which would be enough for, say, an artillery division.

Here you may well get the feeling that "we've already seen it somewhere" - the Estonians want to give Soviet howitzers to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but for the transfer they again have to wait a long time for someone's permission to re-export.

Transfer of Estonian D-30 howitzers to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in April 2022, Estonia Decided to Give All its D-30 Howitzers to Ukraine 2 Months Ago, but Finland Only Now Agreed to the Transfer, Defense Express
Transfer of Estonian D-30 howitzers to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in April 2022 / Photo from open sources

As we can recall, at first there was a similar story with the fact that Germany, as the original owner of these artillery systems, did not give its permission for the delivery of D-30 howitzers from Estonia to Ukraine at the beginning of 2022 for a long time. But from a formal point of view, Finland in this story also has a "space" where it has the right to give permission for re-export. These howitzers originally belonged to the GDR army, after the unification of the two Germanys, these D-30s were 'moved' to storage warehouses, from there these systems were purchased by Finland, and part of these howitzers were bought back from the Finns by the Estonian armed forces.

However, a rhetorical question arises here - why did the Finnish government not mention the permission to re-export D-30 howitzers from Estonia to Ukraine, and why did the Finns have to wait as long as 2 months to approve the transfer of the artillery systems to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

D-30 howitzer of the armed forces of Estonia, Estonia Decided to Give All its D-30 Howitzers to Ukraine 2 Months Ago, but Finland Only Now Agreed to the Transfer, Defense Express
D-30 howitzer of the armed forces of Estonia / Illustrative photo from open sources

As Defense Express reported, Estonia Became The First NATO Country to Give All Its 155mm Howitzers to Ukraine. We also wrote that Amid russia’s Massive Missile Attacks Norway Provided Ukraine With More NASAMS ADS.

Read more: ​Estonia Sends Another Military Aid Package to Ukraine