The European Union is ramping up its preparedness for possible chemical and nuclear emergencies as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears the one-year mark with a stockpile of items to be set up in Finland, it was announced on Tuesday.
A total of €242 million has been allocated to Finland by the European Commission to create the bloc’s first strategic reserve against chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats for use by all member states.
“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has confirmed the need to strengthen EU CBRN preparedness,” Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.
The stockpile, he added, “will provide the EU with a significant safety net enabling a quick and coordinated response at EU level.”
The new reserve will include critical medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antidotes, medical devices and field response equipment to ensure better protection in preparation and in response to biological, radiological and nuclear accidents.
Finland shares a 1,300-km border with Russia and is located close to the Baltic states, which fear an escalation of the war in Ukraine that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons or to a nuclear accident.