German President Steinmeier to visit Helsinki

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit Helsinki to meet with Finnish counterparts today. Discussions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Steinmeier meets with Niinisto

Steinmeier to visit Helsinki – Photo: Juhani Kandell/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit Helsinki to meet with Finnish counterparts today.

Discussions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and on a potential NATO entry of Finland are likely to dominate proceedings. As a neighbor of Russia, Finland has traditionally practiced neutrality, however, the Finnish government has recently indicated it is ready to change course and would make a decision on whether to join NATO in the coming months.

Additionally, Germany and Finland share a recent common change in their policies toward Russia. Both nations initially refused to supply Ukraine with weapons but have now committed to multiple rounds of shipments. Germany is taking a more active role in European defense, having already deployed additional soldiers to the Baltic region and taken the leadership of a NATO battlegroup in Slovakia. Meanwhile, Finland is likely to increase its cooperation with NATO member states and thus adopt a more confrontational relationship with Russia. Germany and Finland are thus likely to find common ground in their recent policy shifts and leverage their commonalities. Expect both countries to increase cooperation with one other within the bounds of NATO via joint military exercises, common foreign policy stances, and defense technology sharing.

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