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Finland welcomes NATO warships for drills

The drills come as Helsinki mulls NATO membership.

NATO members Latvia, Estonia, and the Netherlands will hold joint naval exercises with Finland in the Baltic Sea, the Finnish military said, noting the drills will focus on “mine countermeasures.”

finland welcomes nato warship for drills
A Finnish Katanpaa mine-hunting vessel is seen in the Sarkansalmi Strait, Finland. © Wikipedia.

The training mission will be held between Thursday and Friday following a visit to Turku, Finland by NATO’s Mine Action Division, the country’s Coastal Fleet said in a statement, adding that the drills will include a Latvian mine-laying vessel and mine-sweepers from Estonia and the Netherlands.

“The main goal of the exercise is to search for and identify underwater objects,” the Coastal Fleet’s chief of staff, Commander Mikko Villikari, said. “In these exercises, we learn to work as part of a group that we do not regularly interact with. It helps to maintain international expertise.”

The Finnish military said the drills will be carried out somewhere in the Archipelago Sea within the Baltic, located 330 miles (540km) from the Russian city of St. Petersburg.

Planned one year in advance, the exercises come amid reports that both Finland and Sweden – historically neutral states – are moving ahead on plans to join the NATO bloc and could submit membership applications as early as next month. Leaders in both countries have stated that Russia’s attack on Ukraine has shifted their calculations in regards to the alliance, while NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has declared that they would be readily admitted.

Moscow, which shares an 830-mile (1,340km) border with Finland, has warned such a move could force it to “restore military balance” in the Baltic region, with former Russian president and current deputy chair of the Russian National Security Council Dmitry Medvedev saying the area may not remain “nuclear-free” should NATO absorb the two Nordic states.

Source:RT News

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  1. Finnish wont be allowed a referendum on joining NATO. Corrupt elected members will make this decision. Finland gained territory (where russian ethnic ppl are a majority) on the condition that they will remain neutral. They even signed an agreement with Russians. Once decades gone by, all the history and facts are hidden by the media. US simply wants to create problems to Russia and destroy the country. They are spreading russphobia to all its neighbours. The same approach is followed with China. Burma is now flooded with illegal weapons and civil conflicts are created along with sinaphobia.

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