Tuesday’s newspapers: Russia’s gas unloading, parliamentary support for NATO and royal visit

Tuesday's newspapers: Russia's gas unloading, parliamentary support for NATO and royal visit

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shifted the debate around energy in Finland, as much of Finland’s energy needs are sourced from Russia.

Li AnderssonChairman of the Left Alliance and Minister of Education, spoke to Iltalehti paradox that Finland finances the Russian military machinery.

"Europe will continue to fund Putin’s military operations and the Putin administration as long as Russia’s dependence on fossil fuels is as high as it is in Europe today." Andersson told Iltalehti.

Andersson pointed out that Finland’s hypocrisy will spend 1.7 billion euros on new arms purchases while financing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

"We must work to get rid of the Russian energy that is financing this war, as soon as possible. It is not sustainable for Finland to strengthen its own defense with one hand and to finance the Russian war by buying fossil fuels from them." Andersson told Iltalehti.

According to Andersson, an estimated € 20 billion has flowed from the EU to Russia since the attack began on 24 February.

In April, the Finnish government announced an energy and green transition package of EUR 700 million.

"Reducing dependence on fossil fuels is also a security policy issue in these times. It is really important that Finland now invests heavily in giving up Russia’s energy and strengthening energy self-sufficiency." Andersson explained to Iltalehti.

Andersson also stressed that Fennovoima’s project with the Russian state nuclear power company Rosatom should not be built. The nuclear power plant planned for Pyhäjoki has been shelved in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the project area still remains.

"Today, the Fennovoima project is a big elephant in the room of Finnish decision-makers," Andersson added.

A simple majority of MPs support NATO

More than half of Finland’s members of parliament now support NATO membership, the article says Helsingin sanomat newspaper.

According to an analysis by Helsingin Sanomat, 105 of Finland’s 200 MPs supported joining NATO. The analysis was based on a collection of several sources, including HS surveys, Yle surveys, and MP press releases.

In the analysis, 13 MPs did not support NATO membership, 36 MPs could not say and the remaining 46 were unknown or uncertain at the moment.

Parliament will begin discussing the report on Finland’s changed security policy when it convenes on Tuesday after the Easter holidays.

It is unclear whether joining NATO in Parliament requires a simple or a two-thirds majority. Speaker of Parliament Matti Vanhanen (Cen) has set up a coordination group to address this and other issues related to the progress of NATO membership applications. To achieve a two-thirds majority, 134 MPs should support joining NATO.

The initiative to apply for NATO membership would be taken by the president and the government, and in principle could be taken at any time.

Finland receives royal treatment

Evening News announced it Prince Michael of Kent is in the middle of a three – day trip to Finland. The Royal Visit is organized by the British and Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce in Finland (B3CF).

"The purpose of the visit is to promote investment and trade relations between Britain and Finland. The prince is coming to our country to be the patron of the Genesis initiative," President Garry Parker B3CF stated to Ilta-Sanomat.

An active Freemason, Prince Michael is one of the few royals who does not receive taxpayer support through the UK Citizens List but has access to an apartment in Kensington Palace.

The Genesis Initiative is a UK program that promotes the debate between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on economic issues and encourages development and co-operation between Britain and its international partners.

Prince Michael last visited Finland in 2017 and recalled that he had good memories of the country.

"My last trip to Finland left me with many positive memories," Prince Michael told Ilta-Sanomat.

In his gala speech in 2017, the prince said he liked the openness and kindness of Finns.

The royal itinerary includes a trip to Tampere, where he will visit a few companies and the newly built Nokia Arena. The prince ends his trip to Helsinki by visiting local companies and the gala at Svenska Klubben. The gala dinner will host 100 people, kantele performances and Sir John Stuttard presents his book to the prince Pre-war Rolls-Royce cars with a Finnish connection.

Source: The Nordic Page

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