Lord Robertson in Helsinki

The Secretary-General of NATO Lord George Robertson praised Finland´s contribution to the NATO peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Kosovo during a press conference at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He said that the Finnish troops have been a valuable asset to both the SFOR and KFOR operations and distinguished themselves in the performance of their duties. Lord Robertson stressed that the continuation of the peacekeeping operations are crucial to the establishment of a safe environment and stable society in the post-war era. He also gave great credit to Finland´s active input in the Partnership-for-Peace programme.

Lord Robertson underlined the fact that the European and NATO governments should invest in their defence budgets. He said that his duty as the Secretary-General was to remind countries of the awkward truth "you don´t make defence on the cheap".

As to the relationship between the European Union and NATO, he said that it should be as transparent as possible and include all member countries of both organisations.