Ambassador Mikko Hautala believes that the fighter trade will open up new economic opportunities for Finland.
Finland there has been a busy Friday morning at the embassy in Washington. It was not yet eight o’clock on the east coast of the United States when Finland announced his purchase U.S. F35 fighters in years of prepared trade.
The trade is large even in the United States. Will the decision open new doors for Finland in the United States, Ambassador Mikko Hautala?
“The doors have not been closed so far,” says Hautala.
“But it gives a breeze to the sails. That is quite clear. ”
According to Hautala, the deal will strengthen cooperation between the United States and Finland in both defense and industry. The deal includes an industrial cooperation package.
“This will give quite a boost to our economic relations for years to come,” says Hautala.
But what if the decision had hit a European fighter jet? Hautala confirms that he is also prepared for that option.
“Americans would certainly have been disappointed and asked why this was the case. Someone could have asked about politics as well, ”he says.
“But these considerations, I understand, did not affect the acquisition at all. It puts the performance of the fighters ahead. ”
According to Hautala, Finland’s message is – and would have been in any case – that the country invests resolutely in national defense. Hautala says his U.S. interlocutors understand this well.
“The United States appreciates that Finland is responsible for its own defense.”
Ministry of Defense Deputy Head of Department Janne Kuusela met with representatives of the U.S. and Swedish Department of Defense in Washington on Thursday.
According to Kuusela, the fighter deals were not the subject of a trilateral meeting, but the deal represents continuity in Finnish-US defense policy relations. After all, Finland has been operating with American machines for 30 years.
“I could believe that the deal will further intensify the co-operation of the Finnish Defense Forces with the United States in the future, but there is no reason to overdramatize this either.”
According to Kuusela, defense co-operation with both Sweden and the United States is based above all on common interests instead of material procurement.
“We have a clear common interest in the Baltic Sea and Northern Europe remaining a stable and secure region.”
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