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Sat, 06 Feb, 2016 12:03:36 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Feb 6
 
File Photo AFP-Lehtikuva.
Finland has been invited to attend the NATO defence ministers’ meeting scheduled to be held in Brussels next week.
 
Some other countries called the “enhanced partners” which include Sweden, Aus-tralia, Jordan and Georgia were also invited to the conference with a rare oppor-tunity to further cooperation with the military alliance NATO.
 
“I suppose the growing training activities will be raised (during the meeting). Through this enhanced partnership will pick up more understanding of NATO training exercises and we will also be part of planning it,” Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö said.
 
Finland and Sweden partnership attention has focused on the Baltic Sea region. NATO countries have teamed with Finland and Sweden to draw up two assess-ments related to the security of the Baltic Sea.
 
“The Baltic region has become of strategic importance from the NATO's perspec-tive. For NATO, the question is certainly the defence of the Baltic (region),” said Finnish Head of Mission to NATO Ambassador Piritta Asunmaa.
 
According to Asunmaa, NATO is not counting on Finland and Sweden to be part of the defence of the Baltic States. 
 
This is about overall situation awareness and the fact that Finland and Sweden would be able to choose if they wish to be involved in joint operations with NATO.
 
Asunmaa does not expect that there will be a major breakthrough in the near future in terms of the development of NATO partnership.
 
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