TALLINN – The commander of the Finnish Navy, Rear Adm. Jori Harju, met with Cmdre. Juri Saska, the commander of the Estonian Navy, at the Mine Harbor compound in Tallinn to discuss ongoing cooperation projects and set the framework for joint activities in the future.
"We discussed the possibilities of how we can move forward together in the future, because I hope that Finland will join NATO very soon and as a member of NATO we will start cooperating more and more closely," Harju said.
The Finnish Navy has cooperated with NATO units, including the Estonian Navy, foremost in international exercises in the Baltic Sea. In addition, Finland, like Estonia, contributes to maritime surveillance cooperation of the Baltic Sea countries within the framework of the Sea Surveillance Cooperation Baltic Sea (SUCBAS) project.
Today, both navy chiefs also see an increasing number of opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the fields of training, communication, shared situational awareness and capability development.
"Cooperation so far has been good. When Finland joins NATO, cooperation will be significantly broader and we are already creating the prerequisites for that today," Saska said.
The Finnish navy chief was given a tour of the home harbor of the vessels of the Estonian Navy and the Mine Harbor compound. He also received a thorough overview of the current and future activities of the Estonian Navy and visited the the Estonian Navy's command and support vessel EML Wambola.
The Estonian Navy's largest naval capability development cooperation project with the Finnish defense industry to date began in July 2021, when the Center for Defense Investment (RKIK) signed a contract with a Finnish company to procure modern naval mines for the Estonian Navy. The first batch arrived in December 2021.