According to Soini, who during his USA trip met with his US colleague John Kerry, a conflict in the Baltic is unlikely in the near future, but the joint military exercises with the United States are nevertheless beneficial for Finland, Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported.
"We should take part in them in order for Finland's viewpoint to be taken into account and to ensure that we receive all the information necessary for the defense of our nation," Soini said, stressing that such exercises are a long-standing practice.
Last week, Timo Soini of the populist Finns Party, stated that he sought to promote US-Finnish relations and lauded Washington's commitment to Europe as a guaranty of Finland's security. According to Soini, the US had no choice but to step up its presence in the Baltic region following Russia's "aggressive" behavior.
Formerly a stalwart opponent of NATO, Soini has since 2014 been warming to the concept of Finland dropping its neutral stance and joining the North Atlantic Treaty.