Advertisement

Biden meets with Finland president to talk Ukraine, European security

Finland President Sauli Niinisto speaks at the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021, in New York City. He will visit President Joe Biden on Friday for a bilateral meeting. File Photo by Spencer Platt/UPI
Finland President Sauli Niinisto speaks at the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021, in New York City. He will visit President Joe Biden on Friday for a bilateral meeting. File Photo by Spencer Platt/UPI | License Photo

March 4 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and Finland President Sauli Niinisto will hold a bilateral meeting at the White House on Friday where the two will discuss Russia's war on Ukraine and how to strengthen European security.

While Finland, along with Sweden, has had a history of military neutrality, Finland has increasingly cooperated with NATO, causing concerns for Russia that it could join the alliance. Finland is already a member of the European Union.

Advertisement

"There is a very deep bilateral relationship with the United States," Zebulon Carlander, a defense analyst, told the German media outlet DW. "There is also a trilateral agreement between Sweden, the United States and Finland. Sweden has also been an enhanced opportunity partner with NATO since 2014."

While the White House did not specifically say NATO was on the agenda, Finland's government did announce Friday its Defense Minster Antti Kaikkonen would make a "working visit" to Washington, D.C. on Monday, staying until Wednesday.

Advertisement

"The discussions will focus on the relations between the defense administrations of the two countries, Ukraine and the security situation in Europe," Finland's Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

Kaikkonen will also meet with some Congressional members as well, in addition to traveling to Fort Worth, Texas, to visit the Lockheed Martin plant.

The defense contractor is making F-35A Lightning II multi-role fighters for Finland.

Kaikkonen then visits Eaglin Air Force Base in Florida to see the F-35 in training and maintenance.

Latest Headlines