To 16.10.2014 klo 10:00-12:00
Auditorium of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Ankkurikatu 5, 4th floor, Helsinki
Opening remarks and comments:
Carl Haglund, Minister of Defence of Finland
Mr. Haglund is the Minister of Defence of Finland since 2012. He is also the leader of The Swedish People’s Party. Mr. Haglund was a Member of the European Parliament in 2009-2012. He holds a Master of Science degree in Economic and Business Administration.
Daniel Hamilton, Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Hamilton is the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Director of its Center for Transatlantic Relations. He also serves as Executive Director of the American Consortium for EU Studies. He has served as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, with responsibilities for U.S. relations with Nordic-Baltic countries; and Associate Director of the Policy Planning Staff for two Secretaries of State. He has recently published a book titled ‘Advancing U.S.-Nordic-Baltic Security Cooperation’, which includes practical recommendations for decision-makers. The book addresses questions like: What is the current security situation in the Nordic-Baltic area? What might be the role of the United States? In what ways can and should US-Nordic-Baltic cooperation be strengthened?
Chair: Teija Tiilikainen, Director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs
Summary of the seminar:
seminar was opened by its chair Dr Teija
Tiilikainen who stressed the topicality of the seminar due to the current
crisis in Ukraine. According to her, an analysis of its implications on
security and how the crisis affects different actors in the area has not yet
been completed. Questions such as will there be changes in defence policy in
Nordic or Baltic countries and will the crisis have implications on transatlantic
relations are particularly topical at the moment.
First, the floor was given to the Minister
of Defence of Finland, Carl Haglund, who in his speech focused on the
impact of the current events on Finland’s security and defence policy, and also
on what kind of effects they have on NATO and the EU. He began by saying that
Northern Europe has experienced decades of peace and that the developments of
the Ukrainian crisis came as a surprise for Finland. Retrospectively thinking
it should have been expected, but the negative transformation of Russia has
been underestimated while the focus has largely been on positive developments.
Minister Haglund stated that the Ukrainian situation has long-term effects. At
the moment there is a ceasefire, which is of course a positive sign, but the
arrangements in Eastern Ukraine are still worrying and rather impalpable. For
Europe, Crimea is the most difficult part of the crisis and its handling must be
considered carefully. It does not seem likely that Russia will give up on Crimea
and this cannot be accepted by the EU or the US, which means that the sanctions
must be retained. Minister Haglund noted
that there are also other crisis situations ongoing around the world: for
instance the civil war in Syria, ISIS, problems in Gaza and Northern Africa.
According to Minister Haglund there is a will to develop Nordic
cooperation: Nordic cooperation now includes common exercises and training, crisis management
cooperation and a political dialogue – in the future the cooperation will also
include capacity building. The main intention, however, is not to build a
defence alliance. Regarding the Nordic-Baltic cooperation Minister Haglund stated that
it is not very extensive yet and there are possibilities to do extend it.
Because of the Ukrainian crisis the US would like to have a larger presence in
the Baltic countries, which would enable new forms of cooperation. Finland has
no intention to take responsibility for defending the Baltic countries – this task
should be taken solely by NATO, and in Minister Haglund’s opinion this sets
limits on Nordic-Baltic cooperation.
The NATO summit that concentrated on the crisis of Ukraine and its
implications to the countries had a very positive outcome, at least from the
Finnish perspective: the partnership will be deepened, although before the
summit there was a concern that due to the current events cooperation would
diminish. Minister Haglund reckoned, however, that Finland is not joining NATO
in the near future since this would require a stronger public support.
Minister Haglund also evaluated the implication of the current crisis on
the EU’s foreign and security policy. The EU and the NATO have different roles
and the importance of the EU security and defence cooperation has not
increased, even when the crisis in Ukraine started. According to Minister Haglund
the reason is that the EU countries that are members of NATO are not interested
to develop EU defence policy. In general, according to Minister Haglund, there
have been positive developments in the EU’s foreign and security policy during the
past ten years.
To conclude, Minister Haglund stressed that Nordic-Baltic cooperation
will be enhanced in the future. Finland must also take into account Finland’s history
as Russia’s geographical neighbour – which means that smart foreign and defence
policies are needed. Domestic defence policy will be developed in cooperation
with Nordic, Baltic and EU countries.
speaker, Professor Daniel Hamilton,
concentrated on explaining the findings of the recently published book "Advancing U.S.–Nordic–Baltic Security
cooperation”. According to him the
US is interested in cooperating with the Nordic and Baltic countries, because
this relationship is a value added relationship – the relationship is advantageous
to both sides. For two
reasons there is urgency for this particular relationship: firstly, the idea of
an era of calm and peacefulness that started after the end of the Cold War has
dramatically changed recently, and secondly, there are significant changes
going on in the Arctic. Recent developments mean that the post-Soviet
succession continues and significant turbulence exists. According to Prof. Hamilton the situation in
Ukraine is rather a symptom of the post-Soviet succession than an episode that
is passing by. Prof. Hamilton stressed that this is not a black and white
situation, and in reality the challenge is the increasing ‘twilight’ zone
between the East and the West.
Hamilton presented some policy recommendations for Finland and for the
US-Nordic-Baltic cooperation. He stated that the best option for Finland would
be to join the NATO. Baltic countries should be involved in Nordic defence
cooperation and in Hamilton’s opinion Baltic countries prefer this cooperation
– they do not expect that Finland or other Nordic countries would defend them. Professor
Hamilton continued by talking about the US entering Europe as an energy actor,
which is why exploring the energy issues in the framework of US-Nordic-Baltic
cooperation would be useful. The Nordic and Baltic countries have not
considered energy issues strategically. Regarding Arctic cooperation much
remains left to develop.
Prof. Hamilton mentioned the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership
(TTIP). Although TTIP is seen primary as an economical agreement, it has a
geopolitical aspect, and in this sense the free-trade agreement is related to security
issues and should be mentioned in this context.