Finland waiting on more details of US-Estonian air force invite
Rahvusvahelised uudised 22 Jan 2015  EWR
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yle.fi 22.01.2015
Defence Minister Carl Haglund says Finland still has insufficient information to make a decision on Finnish participation in joint exercises with the Estonian and American air forces even though an official invitation has now been sent. He says that the Americans understand the sensitivity of the issue.

The long-running saga of Finnish participation in joint air force exercises with the Estonian and American militaries still has some way to go, despite an official invitation arriving—finally—at the Defence ministry on Wednesday.

Defence Minister Carl Haglund says that the invite is not specific enough for the Defence Forces to decide on Finnish participation.

”The Americans have invited us to a meeting where they’ll certainly inform us about their hopes and goals around these exercises,” said Haglund.

Finland will decide whether or not to take part in the coming weeks, but first the government is looking to clarify what the exercises will consist of and how large the exercises will be. Haglund says that the US understands that the Finland will not necessarily accept the offer as it is.

”Apparently the Americans have understood that there are sensitivities around this for us, and that we want to conduct exercises on our own terms,” said Haglund.

The minister says that Swedish participation would be good, as Finnish and Swedish air forces train together on a regular basis. He added that on the basis of the general invitation, the US is seeking an acceptable model for joint exercises rather than offering a ready-planned programme.
 
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