US President Joe Biden said that Finland’s decision to buy American-made F-35 fighter jets will pave the way to closer military ties in the coming years and shared “concerns” about Russia with his colleague in Helsinki.
Speaking with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö on Monday, Biden praised Finland’s decision to buy 64 jets from Lockheed Martin, to replace its aging American-made F/A-18s, calling the purchase “a strong foundation for even closer bilateral defense ties for years to come.”
Both leaders “discussed their shared concerns about Russia’s destabilizing military buildup along Ukraine’s border and the importance of transatlantic efforts to de-escalate the situation,”According to the White House,
Helsinki’s readout of the call said the main topic of the conversation was “the worrisome situation at the borders of Ukraine”Both presidents “considered it important to cooperate in order to find a diplomatic resolution to the tense situation.”
Niinistö also said he appreciated NATO’s Open Door policy, but did not mention F-35s at all. On Tuesday, he will call Russian President Vladimir Putin.
F-35 deals were announced Friday. They are worth 8.378 Billion Euros (or $9.44 billion). The deal includes fighter jets as well as armaments, maintenance, and support through 2030. According to Pasi Jokinen, Finland’s air force commander Pasi Jokinen, the country expects to begin phasing in these jets to service by 2027.
Lockheed Martin won out in the competition between Boeing, France’s Dassault, Eurofighter, and the neighboring Sweden’s Saab. Antti Kaikkonen (defense minister) insists on that “all countries involved are very close and valued partners of Finland.”
Finland was the second European neutral country to choose the US-made, troubled and expensive jet. The Pentagon described it as “a very good deal.” “failure”Februar. Switzerland made a deal worth $6,352,000,000 for 36 F-35A units in June.