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FT: Finland storing military equipment in Norway, Sweden

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FT: Finland storing military equipment in Norway, Sweden

A Lieutenant General with the Finnish Defence Forces told the British business daily that Finland is stepping up its already high level of preparedness in the face of an “increasingly aggressive Russia”.

Six men talking while standing in a circle, some wearing military uniforms, in a wintry landscape.

Finnish President Alexander Stubb met Norwegian PM Jonas Gahr Støre at a Nato military exercise in Norway in March. Image: Thomas von Boguslawski / Yle

Finland has started storing military equipment in neighbouring Norway and will soon begin doing the same in Sweden, the Financial Times has reported.

Lieutenant General Mikko Heiskanen, deputy chief of staff for armaments and logistics in the Finnish Defence Forces (FDF), told the British business daily that Finland is stepping up its already high level of preparedness in the face of an “increasingly aggressive Russia”.

“We are not alone anymore. We can trust others. We don’t need to keep all our eggs in one basket. We don’t need to own all the cows to produce the milk for us,” Heiskanen said of the decision to stash military equipment outside Finnish borders.

He added that Finland “is not in a war economy” and only at step three out of nine on its escalation ladder, but also noted that being prepared is “in our DNA”.

“Russia respects power,” Heiskanen told the FT. “Power consists of both the will and the capacity. The will is in place. The people’s will to defend the country is probably the highest in the world.”

Finland looks to build TNT factory

Yle reported on Sunday that Finland wants to streamline plans to build a TNT or Trotyl factory in the country, with talks between industry representatives, private venture capitalists and the defence sector ongoing.

Trinitrotoluene, more commonly known as TNT, is an explosive material used in artillery and mortar projectiles.

Heiskanen told FT that Finland now produces ten times the number of grenades and shells it did five years ago, but declined to elaborate further on the specific types.

Finland has also signed a defence cooperation agreement (DCA) with the United States, which could — under the terms — see the US military store its weapons in Finland.

Although the pact was signed at the end of last year, the government has not yet brought the agreement to parliament to be passed into Finnish law.

According to Heiskanen, Finnish authorities have recently reviewed more than 1,000 agreements it has with private companies to produce equipment or provide services during times of war. He cited the example of a textile factory which could, at short notice, begin producing bulletproof vests.

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