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Defense Minister Haglund: Credible defense forces cannot be built alone

At present, small states' defense budgets are ever increasing yet, despite this, stocks of military equipment are neither sufficient nor consist of what they should. The recent broadening of the NATO member state agreement and peacetime partnership arrangements with other nations is a clear example of the trend towards cooperation, according to Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund, and Finland shouldn't baulk at jumping on the international cooperation bandwagon.

Carl Haglund.
Minister of Defence Carl Haglund Image: Yle

On Monday Defense minister Carl Haglund travelled to Rovaniemi to to fly the flag strongly on behalf of international military cooperation. His statements there come on the heels of May's announcement that Finland and Sweden had signed a defense cooperation agreement.

“This Finland-Sweden partnership is one such clear trend, which is positive, and from which both parties stand to benefit and that’s why it’s now been done quite decisively,” says Minister Haglund.

Haglund points out that the Finland-Sweden collaboration has been in the pipeline for a long time and that the Ukrainian crisis was not the starting point. Indeed, the agreement on defense cooperation development is one of many already bolstering Finland's own defenses. It is clear, however, that events in Ukraine are providing further impetus for Finland deepening its international defense co-operation.

"These events in Ukraine have shown that military power is still used to achieve political goals, and it reminds us why we need credible defense forces in Finland,” says Defense Minister Haglund.

"In today’s world credible defense forces cannot be built all alone, and it really does require cooperation at various levels with various actors. The Finland-Sweden cooperation is one of our important international partnerships and it must be accompanied by cooperation with other Nordic countries and other bilateral partnerships, including with the United States, NATO and the EU," says Haglund.

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