The defense ministers of Estonia and Finland have agreed on increasing military cooperation in NATO, with the alliance's neutral partner Finland sending two experts to participate in the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence and a pledge to carry out more procurements with its smaller neighbor.
“I’m glad that Finland is already now engaging in cooperation with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence even though Finland is not a NATO member,” said Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu at a meeting held Wednesday at the Defense Ministry in Tallinn. “Finland is very welcome to become a country contributing to the center and send a technical expert to take part in the everyday work at the center.”
Finnish Defense Minister Carl Haglund expressed readiness to contribute up to two experts to the center starting next year, and said he was open to further joint defense procurements.
Along with a two-for-one deal on radar systems in which Estonia bid with Finland, Finland has also sold Estonia 122 mm and 105 mm howitzers and corresponding ammunition as well as PASI XA-180 armored infantry vehicles. The two countries’ air forces and navies also exchange surveillance data.
This week, Finnish F-18 fighter planes are taking part in a Baltic airspace policing exercise called the Baltic Regional Training Event, where the countries are practicing aviation operations cooperation.