Keynote Speech by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö 29 September 2021,

[…]As many of you may know, my holistic view of Finland’s security sees it as resting on four pillars. They are, first, the national defence and security; second, the Western integration and partnerships; third, the relationship with Russia; and fourth, the international system and comprehensive security. […]

Let me begin with the first pillar, our national defence and security. As I have often said, a credible defence has a twofold function. On the one hand, it raises the threshold against a potential aggressor. On the other, it makes us a more lucrative partner for others, particularly when interoperability is high.

A credible defence builds on adequate military capabilities and resources. Our past and future procurements for the different domains are necessary to make sure that our national capacity stays on top of emerging challenges.

But a credible defence cannot be built on hardware alone. It also stems from the very mindset of the population: a genuine will to defend one’s own country. That will has traditionally been on a remarkably high level in Finland. That does not mean that we could take it for granted in the future. We must actively nurture that will in the coming generations. […]

Finland’s relationship with Russia is longstanding and multifaceted. Over time, this relationship has experienced fluctuations, to put it mildly. But what has persisted for decades, is a shared commitment to seek working relations between neighbours. In the process, maintaining a functioning relationship with Russia – as functioning a relationship as possible at a given point in time – has become an important pillar supporting our own security. Läs talet