November 08, 2017
Finland woos US with more muscular defense role
Journalist Reid Standish
HELSINKI — Finland and its neighbor Sweden have centered their defense strategies for decades on neutrality and refraining from participating with the big military alliances on their doorsteps.
But the annexation of Crimea and war in Ukraine in 2014 changed that calculus in Northern Europe. Now, in another sign of the changing environment, Finnish Defense Minister Jussi Niinistö is pushing plans to host a large-scale military exercise as early as 2020 — and he has invited U.S. forces to participate.
“Finland has been attending all kinds of exercises during the recent years,” Niinistö told reporters on Tuesday. “It’s time to have our own.”
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