Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö said in a speech at the Brookings Institute in Washington that Finland has always taken its own defence seriously and that he is happy with the recent developments in strengthening European security.
He added that during the past 70 years, NATO has practically meant the United States, which has carried the greatest burden over European defence. This has been very important to Europe. The structures and sums planned by the European Union now in its defence might sound technocratic and small to the United states, but they are an important extension to European defence, Mr Niinistö pointed out.
According to Mr Niinistö, Europe is still a natural partner to the US. He said that if the United States becomes isolated, other countries will want to fill in the void it has left.
He pointed out that Russia and China do not want to face a strong EU, they emphasise bilateral relations. It is not an advantage to the US if the two countries gain more foothold in Europe. Both countries have aimed to increase their impact in neighbouring areas. Russia has done it aggressively, while China has worked in a more subtle way, Mr Niinistö explained.
Mr Niinistö found that the combination of insecurity and uncertainty could undermine western societies if the countries become isolated and forget the value of collaboration. He thinks such development is dangerous.