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MODERATOR:  Good morning, everyone.  Today, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will sign the joint statement of Finland and the United States on cooperation in advanced wireless communications.

(The statement was signed.)

And now Foreign Minister Haavisto and Secretary of State Blinken will give short remarks.  Minister Haavisto.

FOREIGN MINISTER HAAVISTO:  Thank you and good morning, and Secretary Blinken, dear Tony, it’s really my privilege to host you here in Finland.  We have met so often in the corridors, in the meetings, but now you saw – you have the opportunity to see Helsinki as well.  You are really wholeheartedly welcome with your delegation here.

And I want to thank the Secretary for fruitful discussions focusing on Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, our long-term support to Ukraine, and European Security.  Our bilateral relations are stronger than ever.  We are deepening our ties in many crucial sectors, such as security, defense, and new technologies.  Finland’s NATO membership offers new avenues for our cooperation.  I want to stress our joint determination to have also Sweden as our NATO Ally before the Vilnius summit.

Russia’s illegal war of aggression in Ukraine has continued for over a year now and shaken the very foundations of the European and global security order.  However, our determination to defend the rules-based order and sovereignty of all countries remains as strong as ever.  Finland will continue together with partners to support Ukraine as long as necessary.

During times like these, we are very fortunate to have trusted allies and friends across the Atlantic and are keen to strengthen ties in many ways.  Technology cooperation is one important pillar in our bilateral relations.  Today, we are taking another step together to build more resilient, secure, and prosperous societies for future generations.  With the signed statement, we aim to strengthen cooperation in 6G with the United States and to foster exchange of people and ideas in this critical sector.

Finland and the United States are frontrunners in developing new technologies.  Finland is a 6G pioneer, the first country to launch a broad 6G research program already in 2018.  Finland is proud of its business community and academia that have had a clear vision not only about the possibilities of 6G but also the responsibilities.  Respecting human rights; emphasizing economic, social, and environmental aspects of sustainability; as well as promoting transparency and inclusivity are key in 6G development.

We see great value in fostering also the transatlantic partnership in 6G.  A prime example of this is the valuable work being done in the EU-U.S. Trade and Technology Council.  We look forward to building a close 6G partnership not only at the political, policy level, but also between our academic, research, development, and business communities.

And now, once more, Tony, thank for a good cooperation, and floor is yours.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good morning, and thank you, my friend.  It’s wonderful to be here.  It’s wonderful to be with you.  And I just have to say on a personal note how much I’ve valued our partnership and our friendship over this extraordinary year, year-plus – truly historic in what’s happened and what it’s produced.  And I think it’s fair to say that your leadership and your partnership has helped achieve historic results for Finland, for Europe, for the relationship between us, and in many ways for the world, so I couldn’t be more grateful.

We are living through a time when technology is transforming quite literally every aspect of our lives, from artificial intelligence reshaping the production of knowledge to the devices in our pocket that are redefining how we relate to one another every single day.  The United States is committed to working with our partners to shape this transformation in a way that benefits our citizens and that advances our democratic values – in particular, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

To maximize technology as a force for good and to minimize its misuse, it is vital that countries that support these freedoms maintain leadership in cutting-edge technologies and play a leading role in shaping the norms by which these technologies are used.  And that’s what this moment is all about: making sure that we lead in the development of the sixth generation of our communications technology, 6G, ensuring that it’s open, that it’s accessible, that it’s interoperable, that it’s secure.

Our vision is of a communications infrastructure where ideas can travel freely across borders, where our businesses are empowered to innovate, where intellectual property rights are respected and protected, where our critical infrastructure like our electricity grids, our hospitals are secure and resilient, and ultimately where people across the world have an opportunity to use this technology to reach their full potential.  The joint statement that we just signed I think advances that vision in three ways.

First, it enables our governments to share best practices on developing approaches to advanced communications, including open radio access networks.

Second, it creates opportunities for public-private partnerships to continue building a diverse workforce skilled in these cutting-edge technologies.

And third, it allows our private sectors to work more closely together, including by sharing technical expertise, synchronizing regulatory requirements, starting new research initiatives.

Finland is home to one of the world’s leading 5G companies as well as countless startups that are leading the way on advanced wireless technologies.  And when you put that strength together with the ingenuity of our own private sector, I think there is little that we cannot do together.

Throughout our history, Finland and the United States have forged a partnership that’s evolved to meet the changing needs of our people.  Today marks another evolution and another important example of how our alliance continues to deliver results not just for our people but ultimately for people around the world.  We couldn’t be more pleased by this partnership.  We couldn’t be more pleased by this friendship.  We couldn’t be more pleased now by this alliance.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

U.S. Department of State

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