United States and Finland to open negotiations on an agreement on defence cooperation
The United States and Finland will open negotiations on a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) this autumn. The agreement will provide a framework and a legal basis for regular defence cooperation between Finland and the United States. It would also create conditions for closer cooperation if the security situation so requires.
The United States is an important and close partner for Finland and a future ally. Defence cooperation with the United States improves Finland’s defence capability. The United States is the most important external actor in Northern Europe.
The DCA is a continuation of earlier cooperation between the Unites States and Finland. In March 2022, President of the Republic Sauli Niinistö and United States President Joe Biden agreed on deepening defence cooperation between Finland and the United States. A Statement of Intent was signed between the Finnish Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense in 2016.
The DCA is an international agreement of a binding nature, and it would be submitted to the Finnish Parliament for consideration and approval in accordance with chapter 8 of the Constitution. The negotiations are expected to take 1–2 years. The DCA defines the status of US forces when they operate in Finland's territory and cover practical matters, such as taxation, customs duties, and recognition of qualifications.
The United States has a number of agreements and arrangements with NATO countries in the field of security and defence cooperation. Opening negotiations with Finland shows that the United States is committed to security in Finland and Europe. Finland’s membership in NATO will not diminish the importance of bilateral cooperation with the United States. Instead, it will open up new opportunities for cooperation. The DCA will enhance Finland’s readiness for NATO membership.
- Minna Laajava, Director, Unit for Security Policy and Crisis Management, tel. +358 295 350 128, email@example.com
- Tuomas Koskenniemi, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 058, firstname.lastname@example.org