Timo Soini last week delivered his key foreign policy address. Photo: ulkoministerio.fi

«We can not rule out use of military force against Finland»

The foreign policy address by Timo Soini highlights a complicated relationship with Russia.
June 22, 2016

In his annual speech on key foreign policy issues, Minister Soini underlined that the European security system is being challenged and that tensions around the Baltic Sea are on the rise.

“In its foreign and security policy Finland must prepare for rapid and even unpredictable changes in its operating environment”, the foreign ministry leader stressed.

He argued that Russian conduct is putting international peace and stability in jeopardy, a press release available on the country’s foreign ministry website reads.

“Russia’s action, the illegal annexation of Crimea and its actions in Eastern Ukraine constitutes a major shift in European security. In light of the security situation in our vicinity the use or threat of military force against Finland cannot be excluded.”

The speech was held on 17th June, just few days after the end of the BALTOPS maritime exercise, a drill in which Nato forces were training on Finnish territory for the first time ever. About 200 US Marines, 60 British Marines, 50 German soldiers and an Italian intelligence team took part in the exercise.

According to Soini, Finland will continue to develop a comprehensive partnership with Nato. He also underlines that his country will remain closely observant to changes in its security environment and “reserve the right to apply for Nato membership”.

The foreign policy address also includes a stress on the relationship between domestic and external security challenges. 

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“Finland will prepare against different forms of hybrid influencing and strengthen the required capabilities”, the ministry press release reads.

The address also highlights the role of the EU. Soini wants the union to strengthen its cooperation in the field of security. Of special importance are Nordic relations and the relationship with neighboring Sweden.

«In Finland’s bilateral relations, Sweden plays a special role. Finland’s foreign and security cooperation and defense cooperation with Sweden is comprehensive and rooted in joint interests and without any limitations».

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