Finland’s Minister of Defence Jyri Häkämies (Nat. Coalition) would like to see both Russia and Estonia enter into the joint marine surveillance that Finland already practices with Sweden.
The exchange between different countries of marine situation information produced by military personnel also serves the safety purposes of commercial sea traffic, Häkämies argues.
Because of Russia’s growing marine traffic, Häkämies feels that it is more justified than ever to get Russia and Estonia to join in the cooperation and exchange of information regarding marine safety.
Häkämies spoke at the Paasikivi Society on Thursday evening. According to his estimate, the Baltic Sea will not become a subject of military interest in the same fashion as during the Cold War years.
In the Baltic Sea gas pipeline project Häkämies does not see any "significant security-political risks" for Finland.
When asked, the minister specified that the pipeline did not have military-political importance. "It is an environmental issue."
"Preparations are continuing" in relation to Finland’s participation in the NATO Response Force (NRF) activities, Häkämies went on. He did not say if the decision regarding the Finnish involvement would be made before the NATO summit in April.
Häkämies added, nevertheless, that NATO is changing its NRF operations in such a way that "Finland’s joining in will become easier".