Courtesy of Uutiset    May 10, 2016

Foreign Minister Timo Soini has said that the United States has become increasingly important to security in Europe and the Baltic Sea. Speaking at the 30th anniversary of the Kouvola Paasikivi Society in southeast Finland on Monday, Soini reminded his audience that Finland is a part of the West.

As he addressed 30th anniversary observance of the Paasikivi Society in Kouvola, southeast Finland Monday, Foreign Minister Timo Soini noted that the United States had assumed increased importance in security in Europe and the Baltic Sea region.

“In a situation in which European security is weakening, the significance of the United States’ presence as a stabilising force is growing. We are living in this kind of period once more. In the current security situation a strong US presence in the Baltic Sea region creates stability and increases security,” Soini said.

The Foreign Minister and Finns Party chair said that stability in the Baltic Sea is also a goal for Finland and added that there are strong parallels in the interests of both countries.

Soini: Western orientation should be obvious

Soini said that it is of utmost importance that the United States also remains strongly committed to Europe in the future. According to Soini US commitment was a prerequisite for Finland to adopt a non-aligned position during the Cold War.

“As we now know, during the Cold War Finland’s relations with the West had to be maintained partly in secret and cautiously. For a long time our relationship with the United States had been in a ‘secret lover’ phase,” he remarked.

The minister said that he found it odd that in Finland it was necessary to point out from time to time that the country is a part of the West.

“An understanding of part of our history and the nature of our society must be missing if our Western orientation isn’t obvious to everyone,” Soini declared.

Named after the country’s seventh president, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, the Paasikivi Society was established in Helsinki in 1958 to strengthen awareness of Finnish foreign policy in the nation. Nowadays it comprises a series of independent regional societies that provide open forums for foreign policy discourse.