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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 368-12
May 10, 2012

Readout of Secretary Panetta’s Meeting with Finnish Minister of Defense Stefan Wallin

                 Assistant Press Secretary Carl Woog provided the following readout: 

                "Today Secretary Panetta met with Finnish Minister of Defense Stefan Wallin to discuss a variety of issues of mutual interest.  Secretary Panetta praised Finnish leadership in NATO's Partnership For Peace and the contributions of Finnish forces serving in Afghanistan.

                "The ministers discussed the importance of Finland's recent acquisition of the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile, discussed Finnish defense reform initiatives and efforts to synchronize defense spending cuts with sustainment of NATO-interoperable capabilities.  Secretary Panetta emphasized the opportunity for improved interoperability and increased U.S.-Finland technical cooperation. 

                "Secretary Panetta complimented Finland for its leading role in Nordic-Baltic defense cooperation and discussed how to apply the Nordic-Baltic model to NATO's Smart Defense efforts. Secretary Panetta made clear his interest in enhancing U.S.-Finnish defense cooperation and said he looked forward to welcoming Wallin to Chicago for the NATO Summit next week."