Finland Strengthens Ties with the US: New Defence Cooperation Agreement Approved

Finland Strengthens Ties with the US: New Defence Cooperation Agreement Approved

In a significant move to bolster its security and fulfill NATO membership obligations, Finnish Parliament has recently approved a Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the United States. This bilateral agreement, signed on December 18, 2023, in Washington DC by Finnish Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, marks a new chapter in the long-standing security partnership between the two nations.

The DCA establishes an updated framework for defense cooperation between Finland and the United States. Finland agreed in opening up 15 military bases for US. The agreement also covers crucial aspects such as troop entry, defense material storage, criminal jurisdiction, and taxation. The agreement also specifies key areas of collaboration, which are detailed in an annex to the DCA.

Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) – timing relevant sign towards Russia

One of the notable benefits of this agreement is that it will enable the United States to utilize Congress funding for potential infrastructure investments in Finland. This could lead to enhanced defense capabilities and improved readiness in the region.

Finland’s recent NATO membership adds another layer of significance to this bilateral agreement. Rather than diminishing the importance of US-Finland cooperation, NATO membership is expected to create new opportunities and strengthen Finland’s contribution to the alliance’s collective defense.

The timing of this agreement is particularly relevant given the current security climate in Europe. Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine has heightened the importance of robust bilateral cooperation that can adapt to various security scenarios.

It’s worth noting that similar agreements exist between the US and several other NATO countries, including Norway, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Sweden, Finland’s neighbor, also recently signed a DCA with the United States.

DCA – Finnish Parliament approval

Before the DCA was able to be taken into effect, it had to be authorized by the Finnish Parliament. This happened now unanimously on Monday, 1st July 2024.

This Defence Cooperation Agreement represents a significant step in Finland’s evolving defense strategy, reflecting its commitment to regional security and its strengthened alliance with the United States. As the agreement passed now the approval process, it will be interesting to see how it shapes future defense collaborations between these two nations.

Source: Finnish MOD

Further information on bipartisan agreements at can be found here.