Finland is not concerned about Russia’s intensified activities in the Arctic Region, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland Matti Anttonen said during the Aspen Security Conference.
“On Russia, we are not <…> in the Cold War. Also, their capabilities are not on the same level. They have reformed their military, but they are still very far from the levels they had during the Cold War,” he said, when asked how Finland estimates Russia’s activity in the Arctic region. “So, we are not worried about that, but of course it’s an area which becomes more and more important.”
According to the Finnish diplomat, the importance of debates and discussions about developments in the Arctic region is growing, because this region “has been forgotten for a long time.”
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a National Post interview earlier this week that the alliance has been boosting its capabilities in the Arctic Region. “The Russian buildup in the Arctic is part of a pattern, a pattern where Russia is modernizing its military forces, increasing its presence in many parts of the world, re-establishing or re-activating old Soviet-era military bases and of course this pattern is the reason why NATO is adapting, the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence in a generation,” he said.