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Finland plans large-scale military exercise on Russian border

Defence forces announced on Saturday that up to 8,000 reservist troops will undergo training in the eastern region of Pielinen Karelia in June 2015.

Tykki Rovajärven ampuma-alueella.
A military exercise last year in Rovajärvi, northern Finland. Image: Puolustusvoimat

Finnish defence forces announced on Saturday that they are to conduct an unusually large-scale military exercise close to the Russian border next summer.

Up to 8,000 reservist troops from all regiments will take part in training in the border district of Pielinen Karelia in June 2015.

Major Markku Vääntänen said military exercises on this scale are only organised in the region about once every ten years. The training will be the defence forces' principal exercise event next year.

The number of one-off military exercises held in Finland is growing. Last year a total of 4,000 troops took part in such training, while by next year that number will have increased three-fold.

The announcement comes during a weekend in which Finland is hosting the annual Northern Coasts de-mining exercise in waters off the western town of Turku. The event has drawn controversy because of the high number of warships from Nato countries taking part in the training.

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