Government Communications Department
Press Release 154/2014
On Friday 11 April, the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons and the further measures required by the international community. The Cabinet Committee outlined that Finland will participate in the multinational mission in the Mediterranean Sea with a ship inspection division consisting of a maximum of 20 soldiers. The division will support the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations (UN) in their Joint Mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons.
The Finnish division will participate in the maritime protection of the US navy vessel Cape Ray, which will carry out the neutralisation of chemical weapons. The US navy vessel will neutralise the most dangerous chemicals connected with Syria’s chemical weapons programme. The operation will take place in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea. Finland will deploy the ship inspection division for a maximum period of six months.
Finland has previously sent a protection division consisting of around 10 soldiers to the Danish-Norwegian maritime transport operation supporting the OPWC-UN Joint Mission. The division is responsible for ensuring the safety of the maritime transport of chemical weapons in the Mediterranean.
The President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy also discussed the current situation with respect to Ukraine. In addition, a report on the information security breach in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and well as measures and recommendations to improve information security were also discussed.
Enquiries: Kirsti Kauppi, Director-General, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 351 561, Tiina Raijas, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Defence, tel. +358 295 140 318 and Ari Uusikartano, Director-General, Information and Documentation Division, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, tel. +358 295 350 526 (information security breach)