The Finnish and German Foreign Ministers Timo Soini and Heiko Maas met last week in Finland. The foreign ministers want to deepen collaboration between Finland and Germany.
They discussed issues related to the arctic region and the European Union’s security and defence policy, particularly in the Baltic Sea region, among other things. Minister Soini pointed out that the Baltic Sea is important to all of the region’s countries both from an economic and security viewpoint. « This is sometimes forgotten, when we speak about the tension in Europe, » he said. According to Mr Soini, the Baltic Sea is a European sea and the key to both EU’s and NATO’s security.
In addition, Mr Soini emphasised the two countries’ experience and knowledge about the Baltic Sea region and the fact that it is important to share information between partners. « Therefore, the 29+2 collaboration is very useful in NATO, » Mr Soini added.
The ministers also discussed international trade, reducing friction in trade and respecting international rules. Minister Soini highlighted that Germany is a strategically important partner to Finland as it has similar opinions. He hoped that collaboration between the countries would become deeper, as well as collaboration in the Baltic Sea region and in NATO.
According to Minister Soini, he and Minister Maas asked civil servants to look for concrete areas in which the countries can do closer collaboration, such as in the EU defence collaboration or in the arctic region.
Minister Soini commented on the threat of trade war, saying that it would be very harmful. He pointed out that both Germany and Finland support free trade.