I am happy to be able to start with a few current political guidelines, since the Finnish Government Report on Defence or so called “Defence White Paper” was approved last week by the Finnish Parliament. The Defence Report’s key goal is to ensure that Finland’s defence capability meets the requirements of the ever more challenging security environment…
As stated, cooperation is needed in the Arctic between states and civil/military officials. On the military side, it is important at least from an unintentional crises and accident prevention perspective. This is also important to do with Russia and also in the Baltic Sea area. I think everyone wants to prevent this kind of events to the last.
Due to the change in the security situation in our close vicinity, the demands on defence and cooperation have grown. Finland both strengthens her national defence and intensifies international defence cooperation as a militarily non-aligned country. Defence cooperation is important to Finland’s defence capability. It also enhances deterrence and improves the chances of receiving political and military assistance when needed. Peacetime cooperation lays the foundation for cooperation during crises. Today, Finland has signed the documents for joining the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF). JEF is one of the important parts of our defence cooperation network. I am glad, that also Sweden has today joined the cooperation. Both Sweden and the UK are important partners for Finland and this gives our cooperation yet another dimension. We believe that the cooperation will enhance our national defence capability and deepen cooperation with our partners.
To conclude, I would like to point out two things:
- Firstly, the military operating environment has changed and it is in a flux. The consequences of this change are estimated to continue for a long time. This will be reflected also in the Arctic region and we need to take that into account.
- Secondly, the operating environment requires maintaining and developing the national defence capability by all of us. In the case of Finland, this will be supported through enhanced resources, updating our legislation and deepening defense cooperation. Läs talet