President Niinistö will pay a state visit to Sweden

Finnish President makes a state visit to Sweden on Tuesday and Wednesday with his wife Jenni Haukio.

The visit began at 11 a.m. (EET) when the royal family welcomed the presidential couple to a ceremony outside Stockholm’s Royal Palace.

The visit will come at a crucial time, as Finland and Sweden are expected to submit their NATO application together either on Tuesday or Wednesday – possibly during Niinistö’s visit.

Mikko MajanderA researcher at the incubator Magma, which specializes in Finnish-Swedish relations, predicted that many Swedes would take to the streets of Stockholm to greet the , as Niinistö’s popularity has risen considerably this spring in Sweden.

"There is no reason to claim that this is a form of personal worship, but it is possible that the meeting of the Heads of State will give a symbolic impetus to public opinion," Majander said.

He also noted that public opinion has been an important force in both Finland and Sweden, which has led the two Nordic to decide to apply for NATO membership.

king Charles XVI of Gustav it has no role in the Swedish NATO search process and the state visit is above all ceremonial.

Niinistö’s agenda includes a visit to the naval base with the Commander-in-Chief of the Swedish Defense Forces we discuss security and defense policy with Prince Carl Philipand a formal meeting with the Swedish .

"Given the timing of this meeting, it has additional symbolism," Majander stressed.

Last state visit 10 years ago

Niinistö last made a state visit to neighboring Sweden 10 years ago at the beginning of his first term in April 2012.

According to Majander, it is logical that state visits come at the beginning and end of the presidency. He believed that without the background of NATO applications from both countries, a state visit would still have been planned, as Niinistö’s second term ends in 2024.

Although heads of state often meet on different occasions, state visits are of particular importance in addition to day-to-day and defense cooperation.

"A state visit has a spiritual dimension to how genuinely equal neighbors experience a deep sense of belonging and want to show this, not only in decisions, but also in a way that touches emotions." Majander said.

Finnish fever in Sweden?

According to Majander, Finland and its politics have never been more at the forefront of the Swedish public debate.

He added that Niinistö’s New Year’s speech sparked Swedish interest in Finnish politics. In his speech, Niinistö emphasized Finland’s NATO option and the fact that has questioned the sovereignty of Finland and Sweden.

Until then, the assumption was that Finland’s NATO status was based on what Sweden chose to do. However, Finland’s path to NATO has also paved the way for Sweden’s decision.

Last week, the Swedish tabloid Expressen published an editorial in Finnish "Thank you for NATO’s help – big brother Finland." The daily newspaper also praised Finland for its courage and coolness.

Majander said he believed that the Finnish leap would subside in Sweden as the NATO process progressed, and he did not believe that the image of Finland, which "pressured" NATO membership in its neighborhood would remain in Sweden.

"In Sweden, it is clear that Finland will apply for NATO regardless of what Sweden does." Majander stated.

Source: The Nordic Page

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