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Jussi Niinistö (left), the Finnish Minister of Defence, and James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence, held a press conference after their bilateral meeting in Helsinki on 7 October, 2017.
Jussi Niinistö (left), the Finnish Minister of Defence, and James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence, held a press conference after their bilateral meeting in Helsinki on 7 October, 2017.

 

Finland is not planning on asking for any type of security guarantee from the United States although it considers the country an important partner, the presence of which has a stabilising impact on the entire Baltic Sea Region, views Jussi Niinistö (BR), the Minister of Defence.

Niinistö was asked about the issue after he hosted James Mattis, the United States Secretary of Defence, in Helsinki on Monday and Tuesday.

Both Mattis and Joe Biden, an ex-Vice President of the United States, have stated explicitly that the United States is committed to defending Sweden. “If Sweden ends up in trouble, we’ll be there,” Mattis was quoted as saying by Dagens Nyhetern in May.

Niinistö refrained from giving a direct answer when asked if he believes the same applies also to Finland.

“I’d put it this way. Finland isn’t asking [guarantees] from anywhere. We’re simply preparing to defend our sovereign territory alone. But if we get assistance from our partner countries, all the better. We’re trying to make ourselves an attractive partner, to put it in the words of the President of the Republic,” he replied.

Niinistö has recently spoken repeatedly about the possibility of holding a large-scale military exercise in Finland with, for example, Sweden and the United States in order to ensure the country is able to receive military alliance. The exercise could according to him be organised in either 2020 or 2021.

He also reminded that alliances tend to be formed in the event of a conflict regardless of the military alignment – or lack thereof – of the countries involved.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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