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Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (left), Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö and the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen spoke to the press as the Government unveiled its first-ever defence policy report on 16 February, 2017.
Minister of Finance Petteri Orpo (left), Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö and the Minister of Agriculture and the Environment Kimmo Tiilikainen spoke to the press as the Government unveiled its first-ever defence policy report on 16 February, 2017.

The Government is prepared to allocate an additional 55 million euros a year to improving the capabilities of the Finnish Defence Forces as of the beginning of 2018.

The Government points out in its defence policy report that the early-warning period for military conflicts has become shorter and the threshold for resorting to military force lower. The Baltic Sea Region, it adds, has witnessed an increase in both military activity and tensions, thus affecting the military operating environment of Finland.

“Finland must prepare for the use of military force, or threat thereof, against it,” the defence policy report reads. The means to do so will include raising the wartime strength by 50,000 to 280,000 troops.

“Finland strengthens its national defence and intensifies international defence co-operation. Land, maritime and air defence, as well as joint capabilities, will be developed in line with the requirements of the operating environment. New capabilities will be created for the cyber domain.”

The development will take place in a way that creates no practical impediments to possible membership in a military alliance, according to the defence policy report.

Petteri Orpo (NCP), the Minister of Finance, estimated in a press conference on Thursday that global developments have also compelled Finland to take action to guarantee its security in the long term.

“The world is unfortunately in a situation that forces us to improve our security. Finland's security situation has taken a turn for the worse,” he summarised.

The Government has identified Sweden and the United States as the most important defence co-operation partners for Finland. Finland, it says, will also take determined steps to promote the development of defence co-operation and joint defence policy-making within the European Union.

Jussi Niinistö (PS), the Minister of Defence, underscored in the press conference that the report will impose no practical restrictions on developing defence co-operation with Sweden.

“We won't be dependent on assistance from Sweden, but we're developing our preparedness to receive assistance from Sweden,” he clarified.

The Government approved its first-ever defence policy report, which establishes the framework for maintaining, developing and utilising the defence capabilities of Finland, in a plenary session on Thursday. The 19-page report is scheduled for presentation to the Parliament on 8 March, 2017.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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