Finland is one of 11 countries collaborating to establish a joint centre to combat hybrid warfare threats. The centre will be located in Helsinki and will feature cooperation by the USA, EU members Germany, Spain, the UK, Sweden, Poland and the Baltic States.
Representatives of the 11 countries involved met in Helsinki last Thursday to conduct the centre’s founding conference. However some countries still have not arrived at final decisions to participate in the establishment of the hub. Juha Sipilä’s administration will table a motion about the centre in Parliament next spring.
Deputy secretary of state responsible for EU affairs Jori Arvonen said that cyber warfare threats have been escalating and shifting. Hybrid threats refer to interventions considered to be less disruptive than traditional warfare, and which target a country’s weaknesses and sow insecurity.
Examples of hybrid warfare include the dissemination of disinformation or fake news via social media, cyber attacks on IT systems or as in the case of the conflict in Ukraine, disinformation and the use of anonymous troops, also dubbed “little green men”.
According to Arvonen, on the basis of recent discussions taking place in Finland, Russia and the extremist group Islamic State have maintained a hybrid influence in the country.