US Marine Corps To Train With Finnish Counterparts Amid Russian ‘Military Mobilization’ Against Ukraine

The US Marine Corps Logistics Group is expected to arrive in Finland for training for two months, the Finnish navy said on Friday.

“A unit from the United States Marine Corps’ 2nd Marine Logistics Group will be coming to Finland to train with Finnish units. It will be training with the Nyland Brigade from October until early December,” the navy said in a statement.

The majority of US marines will be arriving in Finland early next week.

“The entire unit of 150 persons will be accommodated in Nyland Brigade and mainly operates in the brigade’s training area. In November-December, the unit will participate in the Finnish Navy’s main exercise of the autumn, Exercise Freezing Winds 22,” the statement read.

In the past several months, the cooperation between the navies of Finland and the US has increased. The military drills that took place in May and August have improved the interoperability of units and familiarized US forces with the environment of the Finnish coast, according to the navy.

On May 18, three months after Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Finland and Sweden submitted their NATO membership applications, abandoning decades of neutrality.

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Finland and Sweden are awaiting the ratification of their NATO applications. As of September 23, 27 countries out of 30 have already completed the formal procedure to welcome Finland and Sweden to the alliance. The applications have not yet been ratified by Slovakia, Turkey, and Hungary.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that NATO is an alliance aimed at confrontation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in early April that further expansion of the alliance eastward is aggressive in nature and will not make Europe more secure.

At the same time, he noted that the Kremlin did not consider the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO an existential threat to Russia.

Earlier, Finnish Defense Minister Antti Kaikkonen said that his ministry is closely following the situation after the announcement of partial mobilization in Russia, adding that Finns could rely on their military.

“Partial mobilization in Russia was not a surprise. The situation in neighboring regions of Finland is stable. The readiness of the defense forces is good, and we are closely watching the situation. Finns can rely on our defense forces,” the minister wrote on social media.

Earlier in the day, Putin signed a decree on the partial mobilization in Russia. The president also voiced support for referendums on joining Russia announced on Tuesday in the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Luhansk as well as in the Russian-controlled parts of Ukraine.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu clarified that the partial mobilization was primarily needed to control the 1,000-kilometer (621-mile) wide line of contact with Ukrainian forces in Russian-controlled territories.

The minister specified that Russia had a mobilization resource of 25 million people who served in the army and have combat experience, while the partial mobilization requires only 1% of that number or about 300,000 reservists.