News |

U.S. Threatened to Block Finnish Arms Deal Over High-Tech Exports in 1980's

The United States threatened to impose conditions on arms sales to Finland during the eighties in order to pressure the Finns into joining a high technology trade blockade of the Soviet Union.

Image: YLE

Hitherto classified documents from 1984 released by the Foreign ministry reveal former U.S. Defence Secretary Richard Perle wanted to deny Finland sales of night optic sensors for the ITOW anti-armour missile if the country did not join the U.S. ban on sales of high technology to the Soviets.

Finland first received details of the U.S. conditions during a visit to Washington for talks on an arms deal by then Permanent Under Secretary at the Defence Ministry, Aimo Pajunen. Defence Secretary Perle expanded the discussions to include exports of high technology.

Perle has confirmed the Americans were particularly concerned aboutthe possible export of, for example, digital telephone exchanges developed by Tele Nokia. Finland informed him the country would not approve U.S. demands. However, despite this Finland entered the so-called Cocom(Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls) arrangement in 1987. Prior to this, the U.S. Defence department had threatened to label Finland as permanently being on the wrong side of the iron curtain.

Latest in: News


Our picks