HELSINKI: Finland will send up to eight fighter jets and a mine hunting navy vessel to take part in NATO’s joint operations in 2024, the country’s defence ministry said on Friday.

The Nordic nation last year joined the Western military alliance in a historic security policy U-turn in response to neighbouring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Allies participating actively in NATO’s peacetime collective defence missions sends a message of unity and reinforces deterrence,” Defence Minister Antti Hakkanen said in a statement.

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One of Finland’s Katanpaa class vessels will join NATO’s mine countermeasure unit in the Baltic Sea in April and May, clearing old sea mines, participating in exercises and protecting underwater infrastructure, the statement said.

The fighter jets will participate in regular air patrolling and “creating deterrence by show of military force” in Romania and Bulgaria, including in the Black Sea, during June and July, the defence forces added.

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