Even as criticism increases regarding Finnish arms trade with Israel, the government has decided both to pursue the arms trade with Israel in the coming months and, in a bold and controversial new manoeuvre, try to pass a law that would make the Finnish-Israeli arms trade a state secret, writes Bruno Jäntti.
IN THE midst of an ongoing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) bid in which both of the two finalists are Israeli weapons companies, the Finnish government is pushing forward a bill that would make the details of the Finnish-Israeli arms trade a state secret. The Defence Committee has finished processing the bill and, in all probability, it will pass into law when voted on in the Parliament. Besides support from the government, a clear majority of the Defence Committee members also favours the bill.
This is the first time that Finland has sought an agreement on information protection with another state with an exclusively military and security focus. The title of the agreement is: “Agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information Between the Government of the Republic of Finland and the Government of the State of Israel through the Israeli Ministry of Defence”. The first and arguably the most relevant article of the agreement reads as follows: “The purpose of this Agreement is to protect Classified Information and/or Classified Material transmitted or exchanged between the Parties in connection with research, procurement or manufacturing in the field of defence or security or in connection with defence or security related matters or projects by or for the defence or security administrations of the Parties, be it between government entities or private organizations, or arising or produced within the context of an activity falling within the scope of application of this Agreement.”
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