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NATO, EU countries give go-ahead to ‘hybrid threat’ center in Helsinki

Lynsey_ADMIN_Lynsey_ADMIN_ Administrator
Eleven NATO and EU countries have signed up for creating a center to counter various “hybrid threats,” including cyber attacks and fake news, amid concerns about Russia’s perceived activities in Europe.

The US, the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday. Four more countries are expected to join the initiative in July.

The center, which is expected to be located in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, will operate as a network of experts from participating countries and is aimed at raising awareness of hybrid threats and vulnerabilities that can be exploited in such operations.

"The center is a real boost for the cooperation between the EU and NATO... Hybrid activities have become a permanent part of the European security environment," Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini said at a news conference, as cited by Reuters.

"The use of hybrid strategies puts the internal cohesion and resilience of our societies to the test... What is needed in response is not only state, but societal resilience, a comprehensive approach to security,” he added.

The unit was first announced in November 2016. It is expected to have an annual budget amounting to 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million), with Finland providing half of that sum and the rest to be covered by other members, according to Reuters.

A steering group of experts is due to meet on Wednesday. The center is expected to host up to ten experts later this year, Reuters reports.

The group is meant to enhance ties between EU and NATO and is similar to NATO-operated centers located in in Estonia and Latvia.

https://www.rt.com/news/384401-finland-hybrid-center-russia/



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