The United States and Finland signed a defense cooperation agreement in Washington on Monday, a pact that U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken said would enable the two countries’ militaries “to collaborate more efficiently and more effectively.” According to the official, the DCA opens more opportunities for joint troop training and bolsters NATO’s interoperability.
Under the agreement, Finland is opening 15 military facilities and areas including four airbases to U.S. troops, according to the Polish TVPWorld website.
Prior to participating in the signing ceremony, Blinken noted Finland’s recent accession to NATO and the country’s contribution to strengthening the military alliance and its support to Ukraine.
Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen, who joined Blinken in the agreement’s signing, said the DCA and the NATO membership provide “a momentum to lift U.S.-Finland cooperation to the next level” that could extend even to technology cooperation.
Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen, also present during the signing ceremony, cited the agreement as a source of “a powerful set of tools to work together in support of NATO plans,” as Nordic countries will soon all have DCAs.
In his remarks, Blinken said a similar agreement is scheduled to be signed with Denmark, after an amendment to the U.S. DCA with Norway in 2022 and the signing of an agreement with Sweden in early December.