Finnish troops too slow for terrorist hunt

Finnish Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö is unhappy with Finland’s ability to give military assistance to France in the fight against terrorism. Mr Niinistö thinks that the Finnish reserve troops, which will join the EU Battle Group next year, will be used to merely support professional soldiers after real work is done. There is also uncertainty over who is responsible for the costs of operations. Mr Niinistö says that Finland does not have laws about the surveillance of civilians who are potential security threats, and that such laws could be in conflict with the constitution, making the legislative process slower. The terrorist attacks in France show that Finland also needs these laws.

Minister Soini: « IS probably has cells in Finland »

Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini gave Ilta-Sanomat an interview at the EU meeting in Brussels. He finds that IS is a pan-European problem and that the terrorist group also has cells in Finland. The IS could exploit the free movement of people in Europe. According to Mr Soini, the risk of terror attacks is real in Europe, but the biggest in countries which have participated in measures against IS. The EU plans to intensify collaboration and surveillance, and if the outer borders cannot be controlled, border inspections will be introduced. Mr Soini believes the EU is not far from this.

President Niinistö: Paris has brought the West and Russia closer

President Sauli Niinistö estimated in an interview with YLE’s A-studio that the events in Paris have brought Russia and the West closer. « It is clear that we are building a new kind of bridge, » he said. President Niinistö believes that the chances for collaboration between the EU, US and Russia are now better than before. He believes that France’s request for military assistance could strengthen European defence collaboration, but it will be a long process. The President added that Finns have no reason to fear terrorism.

  • Media:  Aamulehti 
  • Date: 18.11.2015
  • Journalist: STT
  • Main source: President Sauli Niinistö

President Niinistö on France’s plea for assistance : We will give support in all possible ways

Sauli Niinistö, Finland’s President considers France’s plea for military assistance by utilising the EU Security Guarantees a considerable initiative. All EU member states approved the plea, including Finland. According to Mr Niinistö, Finland will help France in all possible ways. However Finland cannot by law send armed military personnel, but police assistance is possible. Mr Niinistö believes that EU’s joint security and defence will proceed, but he does not believe that things will change quickly and the idea of an EU army is still very distant.

  • Media:  Helsingin Sanomat
  • Date: 17.11.2015
  • Journalist: Heidi Lämsä
  • Main source: President Sauli Niinistö