Helsinki (October 12, 2022) – Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet visited Helsinki, Finland, October 11-12 to meet political leaders to reaffirm the United States’ support for Finland’s NATO accession. While in Helsinki, the Counselor’s discussions focused on the Arctic, Finland’s pending NATO membership, support for Ukraine, and other regional issues.
During his meetings, Counselor Chollet outlined the newly released United States’ National Strategy for the Arctic Region, which addresses climate change, fosters economic development, promotes international cooperation, and ensures U.S. national security. “The United States,” he said, quoting the strategy, “seeks an Arctic region that is peaceful, stable, prosperous, and cooperative.”
The Counselor stressed that despite the challenges to Arctic cooperation resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine, the United States will work to sustain institutions for Arctic cooperation, including the Arctic Council. As a fellow member of the Arctic Council, the Counselor welcomed Finnish government officials’ interest in expanding our cooperation in the Arctic region.
In his meetings with Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto and Presidential Foreign Policy Advisor Petri Hakkarainen, Counselor Chollet emphasized U.S. support for Finland’s NATO accession and discussed continued cooperation on stopping Russia’s war in Ukraine. During a conversation with leadership from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Europe and Political Departments, the Counselor learned about Finland’s ongoing security assistance to Ukraine, as well as synergies between the U.S. and Finnish Arctic strategies.
Counselor Chollet discussed with officials from the Ministry of Defense Office for Defense Cooperation continued cooperation on a range of security and defense priorities, including plans to begin negotiations on a Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Finland this autumn. The Counselor reiterated the importance of a strong U.S.-Finnish bilateral relationship to strengthen transatlantic security and meet global challenges.
In his interview with Finnish National News Agency journalist Niilo Simojoki, Counselor Chollet reiterated U.S. commitment to supporting Ukraine, highlighted the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, and discussed the NATO accession process.
The Counselor’s visit reflected strong U.S.-Finnish cooperation to protect human rights around the globe, preserve peace, and promote economic prosperity.