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Finland and Sweden hold historic joint security meeting in Helsinki

Government Communications Department
Publication date 27.11.2023 16.48 | Published in English on 27.11.2023 at 17.10
Press release
In the photo Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo and Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson met in Helsinki on Monday 27 November. Items on the agenda included bilateral relations between the countries, the security situation and other topical international and EU issues. The discussion also addressed recent events at Finland’s eastern border.

In addition to their bilateral meeting, the prime ministers held a joint meeting with the foreign and defence ministers of Finland and Sweden. Their discussions focused on NATO cooperation and Finland’s experiences as a member of the Alliance. Along with Prime Ministers Orpo and Kristersson, the meeting was attended by Minister for Foreign Affairs Elina Valtonen and Minister of Defence Antti Häkkänen and their Swedish colleagues, Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and Minister of Defence Pål Jonson.

Prime Minister Orpo stressed the importance of even closer contacts between Finland and Sweden, especially on security issues.

“Sweden’s NATO membership is and has consistently been a key priority for Finland. NATO membership lays the foundation for even closer cooperation between our countries. I am very pleased with the ongoing cooperation between Finland and Sweden in the defence sector,” said Prime Minister Orpo.

Finland and Sweden also have common goals when it comes to the European Union's agenda. Prime Ministers Orpo and Kristersson noted that their countries have similar views on a variety of issues, such as the mid-term revision of the multiannual financial framework, which will be on the agenda at the December European Council. The prime ministers stressed the importance of improving the EU’s competitiveness and exerting joint influence on initiatives that are important for Finnish and Swedish industry, such as the EU Packaging Directive.

“The most important thing is to continue supporting Ukraine and ensure sufficient funding for that support. At the same time, we must strengthen European security and the EU economy. The EU must be a more active and competitive geopolitical player,” said Prime Minister Orpo.

Prime Minister Orpo noted that there will be more high-level contacts between Finland and Sweden in 2024, as Orpo and Prime Minister Kristersson have agreed to hold a joint meeting of their governments next year.

Inquiries: Tuomas Tikkanen, Special Adviser (EU Affairs), tel. +358 40 523 5768 and Anne Sjöholm, Head of Communications for EU Affairs, tel. +358 40 537 0733, Prime Minister’s Office