Poland and Finland display common vision on shared security concerns

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 1.11.2017 09:42

Polish president Andrzej Duda’s visit to Finland on 23-25 October and the discussions he had with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö resulted in both countries stressing their common approach on Eastern European security issues. Finland and Poland share similar complicated past relations with Russia, whose policy in Ukraine has rekindled old fears in Warsaw and Helsinki.

With Finland chairing the Baltic Sea Air Safety expert group, the presidents have discussed the dangerous military aircraft encounters over the Baltic area, a topic also touched during the latest NRC meeting; both heads of state agreed they share the same approach in this regard. Other topics on the agenda were the EU CSDP, the "great relocation of Russian troops” under the Zapad 2017 exercise, the situation in Russian-occupied Ukraine, and the sanctions against Russia, issues on which Duda noted his position being “very close” to Niinistö’s. Russia’s actions in Ukraine caused great apprehension in Warsaw and Helsinki, with Poland beefing up its defence, while in smaller and traditionally neutral Finland, increasingly serious debates on the possibility of joining NATO started for the first time since WW2.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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