Prime Minister Marin: Finland’s decision to join NATO requires more time

Finland is in no hurry to make a decision on whether to apply for full membership of the alliance , Sanna Marin (SDP) said.

The Prime Minister commented on the NATO issue and the situation in after a meeting with party leaders on Tuesday evening.

Although it will take time to make a final decision on joining the military alliance, and not through opinion polls or citizens’ initiatives, another decision seems to have been made to increase the country’s military budget.

"Party leaders agreed that the foreign policy environment has changed significantly since ’s invasion of Ukraine. Europe is at war. We have to admit that" Marin said.

In his comments, both before and after Tuesday night’s meeting, Marin pointed out that the country’s foreign and security policy is guided by the president, who advises the government, and that such decisions are ultimately made by parliament.

Following Russia’s ongoing deadly attack on Ukraine and other developments, there has been a change in Finland’s accession to NATO, including among legislators. However, Marin did not want to volunteer, whether he – or the Social Democrats – had a formal position on the matter.

"Such an important issue needs to be addressed in depth," Marin said after the meeting.

"The decision means that Finland can change its view of NATO membership if the security environment changes drastically. That is what has happened. But the matter still needs to be addressed carefully, we are not making decisions based on a poll," he said.

The Prime Minister announced on Monday that Finland would send weapons to Ukraine. The president signed an unprecedented decision on the basis of a proposal from the government.

The answers varied

Minister of Education and Chairman of the Left Alliance, Li Anderssonreiterated Marini’s position, but also added that his party has not ruled out NATO membership.

"This will certainly be an important issue in the next parliamentary elections. These are major decisions for Finland’s foreign and security policy. As decision-makers, it is our responsibility not to make hasty decisions, especially when we do not know what war will bring." Andersson said before the meeting.

The Coalition Party has been in favor of joining NATO for some time. Chairman of the Opposition Party Parliament Kai MykkänenHe said that Finland ‘s security required new solutions and added that Finland should also speed up the procurement of defense equipment.

The Swedish People’s Party has supported the idea of ​​joining NATO, but now its chairman, the Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henrikssonsaid a decision must be made that best safeguards the security of the country.

The current chairman of the Basic , Member of Parliament Riikka Purrasaid the decision to join NATO must be made carefully despite the ongoing crisis.

In the meantime, Purra’s predecessor and current chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Jussi Halla-ahocaused a stir on Twitter on Tuesday, calling on NATO, the UN and the to take military action to defend Ukraine.

"Please stop the Russian herd before we have a new and Aleppo in the middle of Europe! You have the means. You have a legal and moral right," he tweeted.

Prime Minister Marin did not react directly to Halla-aho’s statement, but described the statement harshly.

Defense spending is rising

The party leaders also discussed Finland’s defense, Marin said, saying that it was clear that we needed to invest in Finland’s defense, internal security and self-sufficiency. He added that many things changed after Russia invaded Europe, including the economy.

"We need to make sure we get heat and food at affordable prices next winter. The lives of ordinary people must be able to continue uninterrupted," he said and promised in the supplementary budget more defense spending next year at the latest.

said on Wednesday morning, citing government sources, ministers will soon discuss raising the budget for the defense forces.

Leader of the Opposition Christian Democrats Sari Essayah said he expected the parties to look at the situation. Essayah did not directly express an opinion in one direction or another on the possibility of joining the military alliance and said the decision should be followed after a referendum on the issue requiring a referendum.

Source: The Nordic Page

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