HS: Minister of the Left Alliance reaffirms support for NATO membership

Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen (left) has revealed its support for ’s membership, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

"Now that the security environment in has changed dramatically, I feel that the benefits of NATO membership outweigh the costs." Sarkkinen told the magazine.

The Left Alliance has traditionally been Finland’s most anti-NATO party and joined the coalition government led by the SDP three years ago on the condition that it would not lead the country to any alliance.

The party council of the Left Alliance will decide on Saturday whether Finland’s application for membership would trigger the party’s resignation from the government.

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Nine of the 16 MPs in the party led by the Minister of Education have publicly stated their to Finland’s accession to the military alliance.

A poll conducted by Yle in March showed growing support for NATO membership among supporters of the Left Alliance, although support for this movement remained lower than for other parties.

Most parties support NATO’s proposal

The SDP and the Left Alliance are the only major parties that have not yet declared their position on NATO.

prime minister (SDP) said it would announce its position by next week and the party is expected to announce its decision on 14 May.

President Sauli Niinistö has meanwhile said it will announce its position next Thursday at the latest.

The opposition party, the Coalition Party (NCP), has been demanding that Finland join NATO since 2006, which has led to an increase in the party’s voter acceptance as more and more support the application to join the union.

However, Yle’s most recent monthly voter survey revealed a decline in NCP’s support, which researchers say may be due to other parties’ support for Finnish membership.

Opposition In April, the Basic Finns announced their support for Finland’s application to join NATO. Chairman of the Finnish Party said the party council voted 61-3 in favor of membership.

The Center, which traditionally supported military non-alignment last month, also announced its support for Finland’s accession to the Western military alliance.

In April, the Greens also announced their support for Finland’s membership aspirations.

The smaller opposition party, the center-right Christian Democrats, expressed support for NATO membership in the same month. The party council supported the decision by an overwhelming majority.

Source: The Nordic Page

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