The Finnish government begins a historic parliamentary debate on NATO

The Finnish government begins a historic parliamentary debate on NATO

According to Finland and Sweden, joining the Defense Alliance would promote the long-term stability of the Baltic Sea and increase the deterrent effect of Finland’s defense by consolidating it into NATO’s common defense.

According to the report, the Finnish-Swedish Defense League would not be comparable to or replace NATO membership.

“The report forms the basis and basis for parliamentary debate,” the defense minister said Antti Kaikkonen (Central) outlined in press conference yesterday, it was asked whether the only possible conclusion was that joining NATO would be in Finland’s interest.

– Parliament can then assess whether the tone of the report is correct and whether it agrees, disagrees or adds some flavor to the report, additional views.

Kaikkonen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) and the Minister of the Interior Krista Mikkonen (The Greens) commented on the report yesterday at two consecutive press conferences, first in Finnish and Swedish and later in English.

Foreign suppliers were particularly interested in any security guarantees that may be available or may have been requested for the period between application and accession. Haavisto said NATO and its member states have made it “very clear” that an open door policy is a very important principle that should not exist only in nominal terms, and acknowledged that membership alone provides security guarantees under Article 5 of the North Atlantic. Agreement.

“NATO and its member countries would not want to find themselves in a situation where this open door policy does not exist, that someone is preventing countries from applying for NATO membership,” he said. told me.

“Everyone understands that it will take some time – some say 4 to 12 months – for everyone [Nato] countries will decide on a possible new NATO candidacy. There is such a period when it is very important that NATO countries also understand the risks of that period and do their utmost in those circumstances.

“We don’t use the term‘ security guarantees ’, which are so clearly related to NATO Article 5. It is clear that you only get those guarantees when you are a member of NATO,” he later added in response to another security question. insurance.

According to him, Finland’s position will also be strengthened by increased EU security cooperation after the invasion of Ukraine.

“We have seen a huge amount of humanitarian aid, but also military aid and the mobilization of aid to Ukraine. Ukraine is not an EU country, but still the EU has been able to act very effectively.

Haavisto was also asked what NATO’s possible presence could look like in Finland, especially given the Alliance’s efforts to strengthen its eastern side.

“It’s too early to go into those details,” he said. “I’m sure Parliament will also be discussing all sorts of options on the basis of this White Paper, but at the same time it must be understood that you can’t be a little in NATO – you’re in NATO or you’re not in NATO. Of course you have all the responsibilities you are a member.

Finnish MPs will start analyzing the security environment next week. The process is based not only on the report, but also on closed expert hearings that expand the content of the report, in some cases with classified information.

President Sauli Niinistö on wednesday reminded YLE says that while Finland should be able to make its decision “well before” the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain in June, the possible ratification process will take several months.

“Although it was implemented very quickly, it may be that we are talking about next spring, the eve of the parliamentary elections. This risk is worth considering, he added Interview with Helsingin Sanomat. “The views of the parties are important at this stage as they represent, in a sense, continuity. However, the intention is for us to stick to the decisions that are being made now. “

He also considered the report to be an absolutely critical tool in the process, as the debate around it should make it clear to decision-makers and political parties what applying and membership means.

Prime Minister Marin took a similar view yesterday that the decision to apply for membership will be made in weeks instead of months.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Source: The Nordic Page

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