Tuesday’s newspapers: NATO framework, anti-Russia, supermarket controversy

Tuesday marks the 13th day of ’s war against , when the attack and its aftermath once again dominate the headlines in Finnish newspapers.

The largest circulation write that the is preparing to submit a report to Parliament that could play a key role in how political decision-makers discuss ’s changed – and changing – foreign and security policy.

HS adds that the main purpose of the report is to ensure that MPs have enough information to discuss issues, but one source tells the newspaper that it also "provides a framework for the debate."

The country’s leading politicians – including the president Sauli Niinistö and the Prime Minister (SDP) – have so far taken a firm stand on Finland’s possible membership of NATO, and HS explains that their abstention is needed to ensure the most open debate possible.

"It will be quite difficult for parties to genuinely discuss NATO membership if, for example, the president and prime minister had shared their views in one way or another." magazine writes.

In a separate article on HS asks what NATO membership would mean for Finland from the perspectives of, for example, defense budgets, military preparation and EU co-operation.

But the biggest question, HS emphasizes, would be the impact on Finland’s relations with Russia.

This relationship – especially politically and economically – has practically collapsed since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, HS writes, noting that the Russian Foreign Ministry has recently said a few times that Finland’s application to join NATO "military and political consequences".

"Underlying Russia’s opposition is the idea that the prestige of great power is weighed against the losses and victories of the geopolitical game. Every new member of NATO is thus seen as a kind of loss of prestige." explain Katri PynnöniemiAssistant Professor at the National Defense College.

Anti-Russian sentiment is on the rise

-based Aamulehti is one of many magazines with a report According to the news agency STT, against Russians living in Finland has increased since the occupation of Ukraine.

Niina SinkkoThe chairman of the Finland-Russia Association says that his organization – which the AL states is not politically committed and seeks to promote intercultural co-operation at the grassroots level – has also been targeted.

"Many have misunderstood the mission of our organization. It is believed that we will support or receive funding from the Russian regime. This has never been the case," Sinkko said he added that harsh rhetoric has continued despite the group condemning the Russian attack on its website and social media.

"Yet our employees and members have been stigmatized," he said.

AL adds that Russian-speakers are Finland’s largest minority language group, with more than 84,000 Russians speaking their mother tongue in Finland in 2020, according to .

But in practice, an even larger number use the language on a daily basis, and – the newspaper notes – Russian-speakers can come from many different countries, including Ukraine.

Nearly 30 percent of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian as their mother tongue, and for someone who doesn’t know two languages, Russian and Ukrainian may even sound the same.

"In the worst case scenario, such anger could even befall a refugee who has fled the war," The single points out.

Lidl too far?

Taloussanomat financial magazine reports According to the announcement of the German supermarket chain Lidl, there will be no Russian or Belarusian products on display in Finland during the Eastern European Week starting on Thursday.

However, Taloussanomat writes that the company has also decided to eliminate "Russian style" special offer week products, which provoked a mixed reaction on social media.

"I don’t understand why the grocery store [Lidl] begins to discriminate against Russian culture. It does not concern the state, but ordinary Russians," one commenter wrote.

"There is no reason to demonize Russian food culture and culture in general, even in such a situation. It is enough to remove all that benefits the Russian state’s economy and thus its ability to wage war," another said.

Meri AaltoThe head of the chain’s campaign department tells Taloussanomat that the decision to remove all products related to Russia was due to a desire to prevent confusion among customers.

"Although the thematic products do not include products made in Russia, we decided to exclude individual Russian products with, for example, Russian text or other clear references to Russia," The wave explains.

Source: The Nordic Page

Related Posts