USA to Turn Another European State into a Military Base


Helsinki is in talks with Washington on a Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) that would allow US troops to freely deploy to the newly admitted NATO state, a Finnish foreign-affairs official, Mikael Antell, has told the Helsingin Sanomat (HS) newspaper.

The outlet reported that Antell, who serves as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ deputy director-general for political affairs, is leading the bilateral negotiations and that the latest round of discussions took place in the Finnish capital last week. 

According to Antell, the agreement is meant to augment Finland’s current NATO membership, which it was granted in April, and to solidify the country’s deterrent and defense capabilities through US presence and advance stationing of defense equipment.

“The most important thing is that the agreement enables smooth cooperation with the United States in all security situations and also at short notice,” he told HS.

He explained that the DCA would enable the entry and stay of US troops, the advance storage of materials and possible infrastructure investments through funds granted to the Pentagon by the US congress.

Antell noted that while the agreement could create investment opportunities in Finland, it was “too early to speculate” on specific investments. He did, however, suggest that this could be something like the funding of a maintenance hub for F-35 fighter jets. 

The senior diplomat also stressed that the US is not currently aiming for a permanent presence in the country, but is seeking to operate on the principle of rotation, as in moving troops in and out for various durations.

It was also noted that the DCA does not cover nuclear weapons.

According to the outlet, the official-level negotiations between Finland and the US are expected to run into next year, after which a draft of the agreement will undergo parliamentary considerations.

The US is currently pursuing similar DCAs with Denmark and Sweden. State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated back in January that such agreements would “deepen” Washington’s security partnership with these countries and “strengthen transatlantic security.”