The opposition delegation of the opposition party stated on Thursday that the parliament must take forward Finland’s application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The position of the parliamentary group was announced by the party chairman Riikka Purra and team leader Ville Tavio at a meeting in Parliament on Thursday afternoon.
Tavio said the delegation has discussed NATO policy in several meetings.
"I have not heard any anti-NATO comments in group meetings, but some have called for more time to reflect." Tavio said.
Group Sounds 29-3
The delegation voted on Thursday to withdraw the application.
Of the Basic Finnish MPs, 29 voted in favor of NATO membership, three voted against, four abstained and two abstained.
The National Party has 38 seats in parliament, the same number as the second-largest opposition party, the long-pro-NATO National Coalition (NCP). Prime Minister only Sanna MarinThe Social Democratic Party has more seats 40.
According to Tavio, the group’s support for NATO was justified, as Finland is already cooperating with the alliance on many issues.
"You may want to get a security guarantee," Tavio said.
According to Tavio, NATO membership would raise the threshold for using military force against Finland.
Free hands of MPs in possible NATO vote
According to Purra, a possible NATO vote in Parliament would be a conscientious vote for the Deputies of Basic Finns, which means that they could vote according to their own views, regardless of the party line.
Purra declined to comment on the timing of a possible NATO application and pointed out that it was being considered by various parliamentary committees and was related to the forthcoming White Paper on Finnish Security Policy.
He said that basic Finns are united by the desire to maximize Finland’s security.
"In this situation, while the security report is still being prepared, people have different views on how this can best be guaranteed," he said.
He emphasized that Thursday’s decision reflects the basic view of the Basic Finnish parliamentary group, not the entire party at this stage.
Purra, Halla-aho & Tavio returned to NATO
On Tuesday, Purra and her predecessor Jussi Halla-ahonow chairing Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, both expressed support for NATO membership.
Purra said in his blog post that his position was based in part on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Halla-aho said on Twitter that Finland should apply for NATO membership as "the risks associated with it are lower than the risks of the other alternatives".
Tavio also said he decided to support NATO membership after Russia invaded Ukraine.
The party’s official position is expected later in the spring, probably at a party council meeting in late April. Before that, the party council outlines its own position.
In addition to the opposition party’s NCP, only the Swedish People’s Party, now a younger government partner, has previously officially supported NATO membership.
The Basic Finnish Parliamentary Group is the first to announce its NATO policy after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Charly Salonius-PasternakA senior researcher at the Foreign Policy Institute commented on the decision in a tweet on Thursday afternoon.
"The Basic Finns’ parliamentary group decided that it would support Finland’s NATO membership. Next week + we will hear what the two remaining “traditionally large” parties (the Social Democrats and the Center) are saying – expect it to be the same. Then we’re in the big super-majority," he wrote.
Source: The Nordic Page