According to Minister for Foreign Affairs Timo Soini, the European Union and NATO have shared interests in the Baltic region. From the Finnish point of view, NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence has a stabilizing effect in the Baltic Sea, Mr Soini said at the Centrum Balticum’s Baltic Sea forum in Turku. According to Minister Soini, Finland welcomes NATO’s policy of two roads, which emphasized both the deterrent effect and dialogue. He believes Finland’s partnership with NATO has developed in a positive way in the last couple of years. The so-called 29+2 cooperation between NATO, Finland and Sweden has benefited all parties. Shared military exercises give Finnish armed forces new opportunities to develop their skills and capabilities.
After the Cold War, many countries downgraded their defense capabilities. Finland did not, and some wondered why Finland stubbornly maintained such large forces. Minister Soini says that recently nobody has made such comments.
Minister Soini said that we should not forget the background of Europe’s weakened security situation. Russian aggression in Ukraine was the turning point, and the same development has taken place in Syria. Mr Soini notes that in difficult times, it is important to keep cool, stick to facts and avoid exaggeration or fearmongering.