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Finland has no intention to alter its position as part of the European Union and the West, states Alexander Stubb (NCP), the Minister of Finance.Joint military exercises conducted by Finland and the United States may be a new, but hardly unexpected, phenomenon, says Alexander Stubb (NCP), the Minister of Finance.

Stubb commented on a joint exercise hosted by the Karelian Air Command in Rissala, Northern Savonia, in a blog post on Monday by reminding that the Government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) has committed to increasing international co-operation in the domain of security policy.

“None of this should come as a surprise to anyone, for it has been written down crystal clearly in the government programme,” he stated.

The United States, he also estimated, is the most important bilateral partner for the Finnish Defence Forces.

“The co-operation has been developed ever since Finland equipped its Air Forces with American-made Hornets. That was over twenty years ago, so this is by no means a new issue. What is new is that the United States is yet again investing in exercising with Europe,” he argues.

Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the Social Democratic Party, estimated in a guest contribution to MTV on Sunday that inviting “American machines of war to Finland has aroused questions and uncertainty about [the foreign and security policy] of Finland”.

Stubb responded by pointing out that Rinne should be well aware of the objectives of the national foreign and security policy.

“I am more surprised by the puzzlement of Antti Rinne. Rinne was a member of the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy in my Government. He should therefore be familiar with the decisions [of the committee] – with the fact that Finland will increase international co-operation and participate in military exercises,” he stated.

He also conceded that the decisions should be communicated more effectively to the Parliament.

Paavo Väyrynen (Centre), a Member of the European Parliament, argued on his blog on Monday that Finland should back its policy of military non-alignment with actions.

“I recognise that Väyrynen is concerned about the international co-operation conducted by the Defence Forces. Väyrynen may be hoping that Finland re-align its foreign and security policy between Russia and the West in the vein of the 1970s. We have no intention whatsoever to alter the stable position of Finland as part of the EU and the West,” wrote Stubb.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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