Pressemøde den 6. maj 2024


Følgende er en transskription af pressemødet med den finske statsminister Petteri Orpo den 6. maj 2024 


Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:

Welcome, all of you.

Dear Petteri. I’m very happy to welcome you to Denmark today. Finland is a very trusted partner for Denmark. Bilaterally and in the European Union.

And of course, Finland’s membership of NATO has created new opportunities for us and for an even stronger cooperation. We see eye to eye on many key issues.

Today we, of course, have discussed the support for Ukraine’s fight for freedom. Like Denmark, Finland has been firmly behind a strong and united European response. But the situation on the battlefield is now, unfortunately, very difficult. The war has been going on for more than two years.

And the pressure on Ukraine is unbearable.

Increasing air strikes targeting energy infrastructure – it is really difficult. We are now seeing a number of Russian hybrid operations on NATO soil, to put pressure on us. This is extremely concerning and we condemn it.

We did it together and it is not something that we are going to accept. And let me be absolutely clear. It will not have the effect that Putin and Russia are hoping for. We will support Ukraine for as long as it takes.

We are, of course, extremely happy that the European support is now on its way, but American support to Ukraine is not a substitute for our own support. We have to and we will deliver what Ukraine needs. There is no other way forward.

In our discussion today, we agreed that Europe need to do more for our own security, to develop our defence industries.

And also, in this area, we would like to work even closer together. We also, of course, have talked about the European agenda in more general terms. We have to be ready, as a European Union, to confront the new geopolitical reality, the global competition.

We need a stronger European Union. We also agreed that one of the big challenges in front of us is migration. This morning, I attended the opening of the International Conference on Migration here in Copenhagen with the aim of promoting new partnerships.

You have experienced hybrid attacks from Russia on your border and I would like to say, of course, that you can count on Denmark. Also, when it comes to hybrid attacks related to migration.

This is a way of destabilising Europe and therefore we have to work together about it as well. We as governments agreed that we should do more as a European Union to protect our external borders as well.

I look forward to our cooperation and in all the most important issues. Our two countries are exactly on the same page. So once again welcome.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:

Thank you so much.

Dear Prime Minister. Dear Mette.

Thank you for your strong words and your friendship and our good cooperation. And thank you for the warm welcome to Copenhagen.

We had excellent discussions today, as always with our Nordic friends.

The bilateral relations between our countries are excellent.

Finland's NATO membership has further strengthened the ties, not only between Finland and Denmark, but also between the Nordic countries in general. We have both agreed on a bilateral defence cooperation agreement, DCA, with the United States, which provides a good anchor for our cooperation with the US.

Our discussions show how likeminded we, as countries, are.

We both agree that Ukraine is the key security issue. We both see the urgent need to strengthen European defence industry and ramp up production of ammunition. We all support Ukraine significantly; you participate in the F16 coalition, we have given twenty-three packages of military aid.

It was also important to discuss with you the need to be prepared for all scenarios and invest in our resilience. Cooperation with Denmark, bilaterally and at regional level, is of key importance. Especially deeper cooperation in security of supply and protection of our critical infrastructure is critical.

Denmark will have the Presidency of the European Union in the second half of 2025. Today we had an excellent possibility to discuss what we want from the European Union in the future. The upcoming EU elections are very important. For Finland, the most important priorities are European competitiveness, security, and clean transition.

And I think that we are on the very same page on these issues. These priorities should also be reflected in the next EU budget.I believe that we share the importance of these themes and will deepen our Nordic cooperation inside the EU as well.

Thank you so much, once again.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Thank you. And now the press.

The Financial Times reported yesterday that Russia is planning violent attacks on European soil, you addressed this already that the concern is high, but what could Denmark, Finland and the EU in general do to prevent this?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Well, first of all, it is totally unacceptable with hybrid attacks on European soil and in NATO countries, and right now we are aware of the situation. I think all of our countries and our populations have to know about this shift in how Russia attacks and how they act.

I think some Europeans are still thinking that the war is going on in Ukraine, but now we see more and more aggressiveness from Russia. You have seen it in Finland directly, but it is a new situation for many of the other countries like Denmark that we now will, or probably will see, hybrid attacks in different areas. It could be critical infrastructure or in other places.

So, first of all, we have to be aware of the situation. We, of course, as allies are discussing now how to prevent and how to handle this situation and it's not everything, we can be public about. So, I think my main message today is that everyone in NATO, all our citizens, have to be aware that maybe we are now, again, in a new situation, unfortunately.

Thank you. It was also reported today that Finland is storing military equipment outside Finnish borders, Norway and Sweden. Why? Please, Prime Minister Orpo. And could Denmark be an option as well in the future?

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
First, I would like to thank you all for your strong support against the phenomenon we have seen on our borders and Russia is pushing illegal immigrants to our borders. We have stopped the phenomenon, but we are preparing ourselves that they will continue in the future.

This is a good example that they are ready to use all kinds of actions to cause harm – to our societies, to the European Union, and we have to prepare ourselves and we are prepared.
In Finland we are proud of how we have prepared our whole society against hybrid attacks. And it is not acceptable what they are doing and what they are planning. And the message is clear. That they cannot affect us. We are going to support and continue our support to Ukraine as long as needed, just like the Prime Minister said.

Could Denmark be an option to store military equipment - for Finland?

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
If I understood you correctly – of course. Of course, it is possible.

Just to clarify, would Denmark accept that?
Storing weapons? – in Denmark?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Well, as with everything else, it depends on the situation. It's not anything we have discussed today.

My question is: We just raised our GDP use for the defence and Finland is using I think 2.3 percent of their GDP for defence. Are we going to see a general expectation that the member states of NATO should rise their contribution to more than the 2% that Stoltenberg has said is the minimum?

Are we going to see a NATO that asks for a contribution, maybe 3 percent, and what would the reaction be from Denmark and Finland?

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
Maybe I can continue first for your question, because it's just like the Prime Minister said, we didn't discuss this issue today, but because we are allies, we have to put all these kind of measures on the table, how we can be well prepared for all kinds of threats, also military threats. But about spending on the military: I think that first, what we all have to do is to use 2%.

There are too many European countries and members in NATO that are not using 2%.
But we, as a frontline country, we have to use as much as needed. Because we have seen what is happening in Ukraine. It's clear that we have to increase our spending on the military.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
I think what you're seeing now in these years is that we are all increasing our spending on deterrence and defence and it is absolutely necessary. I'm very proud that Denmark has changed our attitude to this question. And if you ask me: “Will more be needed in the future?” I don't think any of us will be able to say no to that question. We don't know. I think we all have to step up when it comes to our national defence, we have to do more on our eastern flank in NATO.

We have to, at the same time, be able to be in control with regards to hybrid attacks and other kinds of security risks that we are facing. And at the moment, of course, the most important thing is Ukraine. We have to deliver what they need. It is especially ammunition, it’s air defence, it’s drones. And of course, our F16s that will, hopefully, be in the air in Ukraine soon. So, I think if you look at it, generally, in NATO, we are all lifting. We are all increasing, and it is absolutely necessary and 2% have never been the goal. It has always been thought of as the start.

A major problem right now in Europe is the defence industry. The weapons industry is too slow, at least when you compare it with the Russian industry and also, in Denmark we haven't got ammunition production for some years and now you said you were going to work closer on the defence industry. I know in Finland you have a company like Nammo in a partnership with Norway.

Can you elaborate on the closer cooperation on the defence industry? Are we going to see a Danish-Finnish company, for example?

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
Would you like to start?

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Yes, we are not planning to have a Danish-Finnish company, but we are of course looking into ...

Prime Minster Petteri Orpo:
… it might be a good idea...

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
… maybe it could be an idea, I don't know, but you're absolutely right. We are not as fast as the Russians are. So, we need to scale up. Ramp up our own production in Europe, and in NATO. Of course, as Nordic countries we are looking at each other at the moment. You have a strong defence industry, we have companies as well, so do Sweden and Norway. And my guess is that because we all have to invest more, you will see more cooperation between the Nordic countries as well.

Maybe this time and there will be a change, namely that we will be more strategic in our partnerships, not just, you know, buying from each other, but also developing and therefore having a closer cooperation.

We can share with you that when we meet on a day like today, defence security and Ukraine is maybe 85% of our meeting and I think there are good opportunities in the Nordic region to work closer together specifically, and also, in general when it comes to security.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
Yes, it's very easy to continue. What we have to do now is ramp up our military industry in Europe and in member states. Every single member state has to do more. For example, we have doubled our ammunition production two months ago, and we are going to do more, but we need cooperation. That's why we are in NATO. That's why we are in the European Union. We can do cooperation.

And that was one of the issues we discussed today. How we can do cooperation within the military industry, but also how we can do cooperation in NATO and the European Union to ramp up the military industry, because we need also European level measures. For example, we have proposed that we should use more European invest banks to finance the military industry investments.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen:
Thank you, all of you.

Prime Minister Petteri Orpo:
Thank you very much.