Finnish military commander says no need to increase maneuvers with NATO

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-24 09:42:49|Editor: Xiaoxia
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HELSINKI, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Finland has no need to expand training operations with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), said Commander of the Finnish Defense Forces General Jarmo Lindberg Saturday.

General Lindberg made the remarks when asked about the country's current defense policy issues in an interview on national television Yle.

Late last year, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said there was no need for "qualitative widening" in the exercises with NATO.

Finland is not a NATO member but its "enhanced partner for peace." According to NATO's official website, Finland is one of five countries, known as "Enhanced Opportunity Partners," that make "particularly significant contributions to NATO operations and other Alliance objectives."

Besides the enhanced companion status, the Northern European nation also has a host-country agreement to facilitate the presence of foreign troops in Finland.

Niinisto has noted that Finland would not allow its territory to be used for "hostile purposes against third parties," describing the presence of foreign troops in Finland as "by invitation only."

Lindberg is stepping down as commander this summer. The appointment of his successor has been delayed because of the resignation of the cabinet under Prime Minister Juha Sipila earlier this month.

The commander is appointed by the president of Finland, but the president cannot act alone without a cabinet proposal.