Friday, December 2

Finland negotiates a defense agreement with the United States

While Turkey continues to flirt with refusal to ratify the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, the northern flank of the Alliance take reinforcement steps and avoid wasting time. Finland and the United States have just announced that they will start negotiating a defense cooperation agreement (DCA) this fall. “The agreement will provide a legal framework and basis for regular defense cooperation between Finland and the United States. It will also create the conditions for closer cooperation if the security situation requires it,” the Helsinki Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Finland hopes that this pact will improve its own security and defense capabilities, according to the text. The beginning of the negotiations, which will last between one and two yearspoints to a binding agreement that will define the extent to which the US Armed Forces can operate on Finnish territory and will cover practical issues such as taxes and customs duties.

According to the Finnish Defense Ministry, Antti Kaikkonen, the opening of these negotiations shows that the US, which has also signed similar agreements with other European countries, is committed to the security of Finland and the European group. Finland’s entry into NATO will not diminish the importance of bilateral cooperation with the United States. On the contrary, it will open up new opportunities for cooperation,” he said. Once the negotiations between the two countries are completed, the agreement will be submitted for the consideration and approval of the Eduskunta (Finnish Parliament), as established in the constitution of this country.

The cabinet led by Sanna Marin has ministers from five parties (the Social Democratic Party, the Center Party, the Green League, the Left Alliance and the Swedish People’s Party of Finland), so dissension on an agreement could be expected with the United States, which has historically been against both the Finnish government and public opinion in the country. But the decision enjoys complete unanimity within the government and the polls show to what extent the demographic displacement and the abandonment of neutrality reaches seismic dimensions in a country that shares 1,300 kilometers of border with Russia. On the part of the United States, it is confirmed that the Alliance’s center of gravity has shifted to the north and east, which means that the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Balkans have lost relevance. For Washington, Finland is not only a power in the Baltic, but also in the Arctic, connecting NATO’s eastern and northern flanks, as well as an essential support point for the Alliance in the main areas of friction with Russia.

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Norway accepts military contributions

Also Norway, which has become Europe’s leading supplier of natural gas, has accepted military contributions from France, Germany and the United Kingdom to secure its oil and gas sectors, in hastily agreed deals, following the attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea . “We are discussing with our allies to increase the military presence in Norwegian waters”, confirmed Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, “we understand the concern of the population about the consequences of what happened in the Baltic Sea and about the possibility that something similar occurs at oil and gas installations.

Sweden it is no stranger to this collective pre-war sentiment and its government is trying to remove obstacles on the road to NATO membership as quickly as it can. In an important gesture of concession to Turkey, to obtain the green light from Ankara to enter the Alliance, the Swedish Government announced last Friday that it has once again authorized exports of military material to that country, one of the conditions required by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to give his approval. operation

Operation Stockholm: “The objective is to measure the achievements of training and, in addition, to make soldiers proud by seeing them succeed in military exercises in dangerous conditions”

Magnus Gerhardsson

Army Major

And, at the same time, Sweden wants to visualize that it will not stand idly by. Several hundred soldiers will participate today and until tomorrow in military maneuvers in the urban area of ​​Stockholm, to the astonishment of a population with a markedly peaceful culture and that watches how members of the Armed Forces, in combat gear, drop from helicopters, climb walls, take strategic positions and march through the streets of the capital in the simulation of a defense operation of the city. is the Stockholm operation.

“The new soldiers represent an important part of the growth of the Swedish Armed Forces and will play a crucial role in the continuous and long-term strengthening of the Swedish Armed Forces,” the military statement says.

“The goal is to measure the achievement of training objectives and, in particular, to make soldiers proud by seeing them succeed in military operations in dangerous conditions,” explains Major and exercise leader Magnus Gerhardsson, “we want soldiers to refuse to give up, contribute and help each other in the group to succeed in the task… it is very important that all soldiers can train in Stockholm and become familiar with the urban environment which, in the worst case, is where they will be solving tasks in an armed conflict”.

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