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Defence Minister Haglund: Finland interested in helping Sweden

Speaking on Yle's TV 1 morning news, Finland's Minister of Defence Carl Haglund stressed that Finland's offer of assistance would depend on what type of aid Sweden requires in its ongoing underwater search off the shores of Stockholm.

Carl Haglund
Finland would be ready to help Sweden with its underwater search - so long as it's not part of a military operation. Image: Yle

If Sweden asks for help in its underwater activity intelligence operation, which entered its sixth day on Wednesday, Finland would be ready to help with rescue operations, says Minister of Defence Carl Haglund.

But Haglund stresses that there are limits. “Our legislation does have specific boundaries. There’s a big difference in whether we participate in a rescue operation, or territorial surveillance, which we can’t participate in for legislative reasons,” he says.

According to Haglund, the Swedes, in theory, are searching for underwater activity such as a submarine, in all likelihood. "Nothing has been found yet, and it remains to be seen whether anything will be found,” he says.

The Baltic Sea's security situation has been intense for a while, owing to the Ukraine crisis vis-à-vis Russia, which has added extra NATO presence to the area.

Finland is fine

“I would say that Finland’s situation is stable, we don’t feel that anything is threatening us right now. But it’s important to be honest: we don’t know for sure what is happening beneath the surface,” says Haglund, in reference to the Swedish operation.

It remains to be seen whether Sweden will ask Finland for help.

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