Photo: Matti Porre/Office of the President of the Republic of Finland

President Stubb at NATO exercise in Norway: An important day for Finland, Sweden and Norway

President of the Republic of Finland Alexander Stubb visited the Nordic Response exercise in Alta, Norway, together with Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Støre on Thursday 7 March 2024.

This was the first time that Finland participated as a NATO member nation in exercising collective defence of the Alliance’s territory. 
To start the day, President Stubb and Prime Minister Gahr Støre visited a field hospital.

The programme continued with the President and the Prime Minister travelling by patrol boat from the port of Alta to the Norwegian Navy’s offshore patrol vessel KV Bjørnøya. On board the vessel, they held bilateral talks on the relations between Finland and Norway, Nordic defence cooperation, NATO cooperation and the importance of the Arctic region.
“This is a historic day, as Sweden has now sealed its membership of NATO. Together with Jonas Gahr Støre, we called Prime Minister of Sweden Ulf Kristersson. Our cooperation will become even closer”, President Stubb said at a press meeting after the talks.
The visit ended at the Sennalandet Fell Plateau, where President Stubb and Prime Minister Gahr Støre had the opportunity to follow the exercises of the 10th Marine Regiment of the US Marine Corps. President Stubb was also introduced to armoured all-terrain vehicles and the HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System), and finally discussed with soldiers taking part in the exercise. 

This was President Stubb’s first working visit abroad.

Finland participates in the exercise with 4,100 soldiers

Nordic Response 24 is held in the northern areas of Finland, Norway and Sweden from 4 to 15 March 2024. Part of the Steadfast Defender 24 drills, Nordic Response 24 has NATO nations and partners exercise operational defence cooperation in arctic conditions on Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish territory. Approximately 20,000 soldiers from 13 Allied nations are participating in the exercise. 

In total, there are about 4,100 soldiers from Finland. This is the largest participation in an international exercise abroad in the history of the Finnish Defence Forces.

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