The United States and Finland enjoy an enduring partnership as NATO Allies and close friends. Finland formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on April 4, 2023. However, our security partnership has steadily broadened and deepened since 1994, when Finland first joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Finland was designated NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner (EOP), the Alliance’s highest-tiered partnership status, at the 2014 Wales Summit. The United States works with Alliance members like Finland to strengthen regional security and improve collaboration in the areas of security cooperation, defense trade, non-proliferation, military exercises, training and defense posture, counterterrorism, cyber and border security, and to counter emerging or hybrid threats.
The United States and Finland are both members of the Enhanced Partnership in Northern Europe (E-PINE) framework, along with Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Together we support the shared vision of a whole Europe free and at peace.
The United States has $13.6 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Finland under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS cases notified to Congress are listed, and recent and significant sales include: Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System – Extended Range (GMLRS-ER) and MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems; AIM-120C-8 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air (AMRAAM) Missiles; AGM-158 Joint Air-To-Surface Standoff Missiles Extended Range (JASSM-ER); and RGM-84Q-4 Harpoon Block II, Stinger Block 1, and Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles.
The United States is proud to have provided Finland with world-class aircraft over the past three decades, supporting Finland’s national security and providing Finland with economic and technological benefits. We welcome the Government of Finland’s decision in late 2021 to select the F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter for its HX Fighter Program.
From FY 2019 through FY 2021, the United States also authorized the permanent export of over $113.8 million in defense articles to Finland via Direct Commercial Sales (DCS). The top categories of DCS to Finland were Military Electronics ($28.5 million); Ammunition and Ordnance ($15.9 million); and Aircraft and Related Articles ($12.9 million).
In 2005, the United States and Finland signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning Air Force activities and exercises in Finland, followed by an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) in 2008. In 2016, Finland and the United States signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) to enhance our defense partnership and improve our defense cooperation through a wide range of areas, including defense capability and readiness and exchange of information at strategic and operational levels. In 2018, the United States, Finland, and Sweden signed an additional SOI to expand trilateral dialogue on defense policy, improve interoperability, enhance situational awareness in the Baltic Sea region, and strengthen military capabilities and defense posture. In 2022, the United States and Finland announced plans to negotiate a Defense Cooperation Agreement to further enable future bilateral security cooperation.
Finland hosts the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), which focuses on building the capacity of EU and NATO states to prevent and counter hybrid threats by sharing best practices, testing new ideas and approaches, and hosting joint training courses and exercises. Finland is also part of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, a multinational and interdisciplinary cyber defense hub.
Finland is part of the NATO Response Force (NRF), a highly ready and technologically advanced, multinational force made up of land, air, maritime, and Special Operations Forces (SOF) components the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed. It has regularly contributed troops to NATO training missions and peacekeeping missions like the Kosovo Force (KFOR). Finland also partners with the United States in the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh/ISIS.
Finland is a contributing member of the UN’s Action for Peacekeeping initiative. As of May 31, 2022, Finland contributes 163 officers and troops to UNIFIL, and an additional 34 experts and police to MINUSMA, UNFICYP, UNMIK, UNMISS, UNSOM, and UNTSO, for a total of 197, including twelve women.
According to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor, Finland supports humanitarian mine action programs to clear landmines and unexploded ordnance and provide mine risk education in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, and Ukraine, where the United States funds similar programs.
Finland participates in multiple bilateral and multilateral military exercises with the United States, EU, and NATO Allies, to include: Aurora, Cold Response, Trident Jupiter, Northern Coasts, and BALTOPS.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, and follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.