According to Finnish news agency STT, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov will arrive in Finland on July 18 at the invitation of Finnish Defence Minister Jan-Erik Enestam. On the first day of the visit the two Defence Ministers will hold talks in the ancient castle in the town of Turku. They will discuss NATO expansion, the development of relations between Russia and NATO, Europe's ability to manage crisis situations, the problem of international terrorism and the situation in Central Asia. During the visit the Russian and Finnish Defence Ministers are due to sign a bilateral memorandum on military cooperation in protecting the environment. On Thursday evening the Defence Ministers are due to dine with Finnish President Tarja Halonen in her summer residence Kultaranta in the town of Naantali.
The Finnish Defence Ministry's public information service informed Rosbalt's correspondent that on the morning of July 19, Admiral Juhani Kaskeala, the head of Finland's armed forces, will demonstrate to Sergei Ivanov the activities of the country's armed forces, in particular the training of military police in the capital's garrison on the island of Santahamina. The scheduled programme for the visit also includes a meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.