Three NATO warships docked in the southern Finnish port of Turku on Monday for joint training exercises with the country’s navy as Finland considered joining NATO amid growing tensions with Russia.
The Finnish Defense Forces announced that two minesweepers of the Finnish coastal fleet will be trained together with the Latvian minesweeper, LVNS Virsaitis, and two minesweepers, the Estonian ENS Sakala and the Dutch HNLMS Schiedam.
The two-day exercise, scheduled to begin on April 28th and end on April 30th, will prepare Finnish ships for participation in the NATO reaction force. According to a press release, the exercise will focus on “mine countermeasures and co-operation in a multinational context”.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on April 13 that her country would decide in the coming weeks whether or not to apply for NATO membership. On Saturday, the country’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto urged for immediate membership in the alliance.
It is recalled that Russia has openly threatened Finland and Sweden with war over the possibility of joining NATO.