Secretary of Defense Lloyd J.
Austin III spoke by phone today with his Finnish counterpart, Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen.
Secretary Austin thanked Minister Kaikkonen for the robust defense relationship with Finland and looked forward to its continued growth.
Secretary Austin also reaffirmed that the U.S.
seeks to be the partner of choice for Finland’s defense modernization needs.
Minister Kaikkonen congratulated Secretary Austin on his new position and expressed appreciation for long-standing bilateral military cooperation and shared values.
Secretary Austin and Minister Kaikkonen expressed a shared understanding of the regional security aspects of climate change, which will be most pronounced in the Arctic in the near term.
Both expressed a shared concern about the deteriorating security situation resulting from increased Russian Federation activity along the Ukraine border.
Secretary Austin and Minister Kaikkonen agreed to meet in person at the earliest opportunity.