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Finnish Defense Minister Warns Of Accidents Amid Baltic Sea Buildup


The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook enters the Polish military port in Gdynia in April.

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook enters the Polish military port in Gdynia in April.

Finland's defense minister has warned of the potential of accidents or unforeseen confrontations amid the ongoing military buildup in the Baltic Sea.

Jussi Niinisto made the comments on November 23 in an interview on with Finnish MTV3 News.

"We naturally support detente. And we practice an active policy of stability," he said. "We'd like to see the military situation calm down in the Baltic Sea, rather than escalate."

Finland, which is not a part of NATO or any Russia-led alliance, has watched with growing concern the increased number of Russian naval ships, military aircraft overflights and coastal defenses in and around the Baltic.

Russia recently moved advanced Iskander missiles, with the potential for nuclear warheads, to the Kaliningrad exclave wedged between Poland and Lithuania.

NATO has responded with increased U.S. naval patrols, and military aircraft intercepts, including from the three ex-Soviet Baltic states.

Finland is a member of the European Union and could be called on to help the Baltic countries, if Russia threatened them.

Niinisto said he hadn't seen "any inclination among the Russian leadership to threaten" Finland.

Based on reporting by AP
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