Finnish Ministry of Defence denies involvement in Helme's plan B for NATO
The Secretary General of Finland's Ministry of Defence on Tuesday denied all knowledge of Mart Helme's statement about a plan B for defense should NATO fail and said Finland was not involved in any way.
Janne Kuusela told Iltalehti newspaper: "I understand that this is Estonia's plan and nobody has contacted us and we are not involved in any way."
In an earlier interview with the same paper, Minister of the Interior Mart Helme said the Estonian government is preparing a plan B in case NATO's collective defense fails. He said this was being carried out with Latvia, Lithuania, and Finland.
Kuusela said this was the first time he had heard of the plan and could not explain what Helme meant when he said Finland was involved.
"Perhaps he was thinking that there was a serious crisis in northern Europe, affecting both Finland and Estonia," he suggested.
Kuusela said the defense forces of the Baltic States and Finland are currently not united and the two countries do not have a common defense strategy. Finland is not a NATO member.
"Finland has its own plans and the Baltic States its own that are related to NATO's common defense strategy," he said.
Asked whether Finland would be willing to join plan B, Kuusela said that since there was no such debate he would not speculate.
Kuusela attended a meeting of Nordic defense ministers with the Baltic defense ministers and said there had been no mentions of plan B there.
"No plan B has been discussed here today, although the Estonian Minister of Defense (Jüri Luik) is here," Kuusela noted.
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Editor: Helen Wright