Finnish-US defence collaboration

Finland, which has a long land border with Russia and maintained strict neutrality through the Cold War, is negotiating a defence collaboration agreement with the United States and aims to sign it this autumn, its defense minister said on Monday. Jussi Niinisto told Reuters the framework agreement, coming at a time when Nordic states have complained of increased Russian military activity in the region, would not contain the obligations for military assistance that membership of the NATO alliance would involve. “It would cover areas where we already work together, like military training, information sharing and research,” he said by telephone. Finland, which has a border with Russia more than 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) long, joined a NATO summit dinner in July for the first time in a show of common purpose. But Helsinki is aware any move to membership of the alliance would anger Moscow. Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted he would move troops closer to Finland’s border if it joined”.

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