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Finland and Sweden sign defence pact in Turku

The document signed by the Finnish and Swedish defence ministers on Monday does not call for mutual defence assistance or an alliance.

Sotilaita metsässä.
Finnish and Swedish soldiers participating in joint war games in 2016. Image: Joel Thungren / Försvarsmakten

Finland and Sweden have for the first time signed a document outlining the objectives of their defence co-operation.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday by Finnish defence minister Jussi Niinistö and his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist in Turku.

The document covers collaboration during peace and war time but does not specify a duty to provide mutual assistance or entail the creation of a defence alliance, Finland’s defence ministry said in a press release.

On the other hand, the MoU also does not limit the extent of cooperation between the countries.

The collaboration between Finland and Sweden in defence matters has developed quickly over the past few years, with improved communications channels and joint military exercises.

At the moment, Finland and Sweden are further deepening defence cooperation to cover operational planning in all situations, the ministry said.

According to STT, the Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces Micael Bydén said last week that Finland and Sweden have already shared secret defence plans with each other.

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