Finland considering cluster bombs to replace antipersonnel mines

(23.02.2007) Cluster bombs are to be part of Finland's defence system and a replacement for antipersonnel mines according to Laura Kansikas, head of the foreign ministry's unit for arms control, interviewed by the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) on Thursday.


Banning the controversial weapon is currently being discussed by representatives of 48 nations in Oslo.

"Finland is prepared to discuss different technical limitations and ways to decrease human suffering, but Finland does not want to enter into a full ban on cluster bombs," Ms Kansikas said.

However, Jyrki Iivonen, public policy director nd is giving up by 2016.

"The term cluster bomb is really tricky, because it imat the defence ministry, told the Finnish News Agency (STT) on Thursday that the controversial cluster bombs were not to be the sole replacement for antipersonnel mines, which Finlamediately brings to mind the war in Lebanon. Finland is aiming to replace the mines with several different systems and cluster weapons are one alternative," Dr Iivonen said.

According to Dr Iivonen Finland will closely follow the Oslo meeting. "Of course we want to choose such systems that will not be immediately banned."

Arto Räty, a brigadier general at the defence ministry, told STT on Thursday that Finland would not be acquiring the kind of cluster bomb that would leave unexploded bomblets on the ground.

"The new bombs that we have planned to acquire would all have to have a self destruct mechanism that either destroys the bomb or makes it inoperable after a certain time," Gen Räty affirmed.

Von: 23.2.2007

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