Arctic on Russian-Finnish military agenda
Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu wants a stronger military cooperation with Finland, including in the Arctic region.
During his two-day visit to Helsinki this week, the Russian defence minister expressed interest in a stronger military cooperation with the neighboring Finland. According to Shoigu, Finland should consider to acquire Russian-made military equipment as part of its major ongoing modernization process.
“Moscow and Helsinki have all opportunities to give their military cooperation a higher level of dynamics”, the Russian minister says in a press release. “Both the Finnish and Russian armed forces are undergoing wide-reaching modernization and it is important for us to discuss the problems which our countries are facing in the course of this transformation”, Shoigu adds.
According to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, Russia would like Finland to buy Russian-made missile complexes as well as fighter jets.
The talks between Shoigu and his Finnish counterpart Carl Haglund also included discussions on the two countries’ relations in the Arctic, and on the development of Arctic natural resources.
During his visit, Shoigu will also also meet with several other high-ranking Finnish representatives, among them Minister of Foreign Affairs, a Finnish press release reads.
Finland remains a neutral country, and has over the last decades carefully balanced it military policies between the interests of NATO and Russia. However, the country has increasingly engaged in military cooperation with its Nordic neighbors as part of the NORDEFCO arrangement.