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Home NATIONALFinland, Britain plan "no-commitment" defence treaty
Sat, 02 Jul, 2016 12:00:03 AM
FTimes- Xinhua Report, July 2
Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö. File Photo Lehtikuva.
Finland and Britain plan to sign a bilateral defence agreement in the near future, Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö told local media on Friday.
Niinistö said the treaty would not involve any commitments to offer assistance during a crisis, and it would rather be a cover arrangement and create mechanisms to work together. The actual content of the treaty will remain a secret.
The Defence Minister noted that the agreement signals the Finnish intention of strengthening its ties with the west. The aim is also to increase stability, he told local media.
The news about a Finland-Britain agreement follows an arrangement between Sweden and Britain earlier this year. Niinistö said Finland follows the line of Sweden.
Niinistö said Finland is looking forward to signing a bilateral defence treaty later with the United States. Such a treaty could be signed as early as during the current U.S. presidency, before the election, he said.
Local media said the Finnish-British treaty could be signed by Niinisto and his British counterpart Michael Fallon during the NATO meeting in Warsaw this month.
Britain was a defence equipment supplier for Finland during the Cold War. Finland obtained its first jet fighters, British Folland Gnats, in 1950s.
Finland is not a NATO member, but has maintained enhanced relationship with the organization.  
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