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Review: Finland's Develops Defence Policy of Non-alignment

Finland will develop its defence as a non-aligned nation. Application for NATO membership remains an option but greater co-operation with the EU is an essential part of the government's review on security and defence policy released on Friday.

The review comes before Parliament next week. It also states that Finland will sign up to the Ottawa Treaty outlawing anti-personnel land mines by 2012. The mines will be destroyed by 2016.

Closer military co-operation with the EU is also an essential element of the review. Addressing the media on Friday, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said Finland remained classically non-aligned in a military sense but politically the country was aligned to the EU.

Finnish policy will continue to be based on a credible national defence, a consistent foreign policy and a strong international position.

Some 1,200 jobs will be shed in the defence forces. Around 500 people will transferred to other duties or retire. No redundancies are planned.

As expected, the review also includes procurement of arms for air force Hornet fighters. This would provide them with an air-to-ground missile capability.

YLE24 Finnish News Agency STT