Finland, USA sign defence co-op deal

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Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen and United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday signed a bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between Finland and USA in Washington DC, said the US State Department in a release.

According to the text of the DCA published by the Finnish government Thursday, the deal will grant U.S. soldiers access to Finland's air force bases, naval bases, garrison areas, training areas, storage areas and Border Guard barracks.

In addition, the DCA would enable U.S. forces to preposition defense equipment, supplies and material in the territory of Finland, and would allow for the entry and movement of U.S. aircraft, vessels and vehicles.

“Welcome as the United States and Finland take yet another step in what has truly been an historic year for our friendship. We throw around the word “historic” sometimes; this really meets the mark,” Blinken said at the signing ceremony where Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen was also present.

Blinken said that Finland and USA will further strengthen security bonds by signing a Defense Cooperation Agreement and when it goes into effect, the militaries of both countries will be able to collaborate more efficiently and more effectively.

“Our troops will have more opportunities to train together, and we will bolster NATO’s interoperability,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion Häkkänen said that signing the DCA is an important milestone in Finland-USA bilateral relationship.

“It gives us a powerful set of tools to work together in support of NATO plans. It is a strong sign of U.S. commitment to the defense of Finland and the whole Northern Europe,” he said.

“We do not expect the United States to take care of the defense of Finland. We continue to invest in our defense and shared burden in our area and beyond. However, this agreement significantly enhances our ability to act together in all situations in military, security, defense fields,” Häkkänen added.

In her speech Valtonen said that the signing of the Defense Cooperation Agreement is a great milestone in bilateral relations between the countries.

“NATO membership, along with the DCA, gives us a momentum to lift U.S.-Finland cooperation to the next level. Another good example is our technology cooperation, which has become an integral pillar of our relations,” she said.

She said that the DCA gives the ability to act together in all situations and strengthens the security of Nordic and Baltic regions.

As the DCA contains provisions of a legislative nature, it is subject to acceptance by Parliament.

After the signature of the agreement, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will begin preparations for a government proposal for the acceptance and approval of the agreement and for the enforcement of its provisions of a legislative nature.

In August 2022, Finland decided to open negotiations with the United States on a DCA, which is an international agreement of a binding nature.

Finland and the United States on October 31 completed negotiations on a bilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA)

The President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy decided in favour of approving the outcome of the negotiations on November 27, 2023.

  •  Finland
  •  USA
  •  Defence
  •  co-op


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