Saturday, August 23, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS



BLOGS



OPINION



WHERE TO GO?

The Romanovs in St. Petersburg

History of St. Petersburg Museum

Small Tragedy, Fatal Passion

Rimsky-Korsakov Apartment Museum

 

  Print this article Print this article

NATO Membership Pipe Dream for Finland

Published: July 7, 2014 (Issue # 1818)




  • Photo: NATO

The new Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb told The Wall Street Journal that, after discussing security issues with officials in Estonia and Sweden, NATO membership remains a "pipe dream" for the country for the moment, reports Fontanka.fi. Stubb, however, has not ruled out Finlands future membership in the military alliance.

Breaking with the tradition that the first official visit for any incoming Finnish prime minister be to Sweden, Stubb instead visited NATO member Estonia, which the politician referred to as "our good friends." Stubb discussed security issues between the two republics with Estonias Prime Minister Taavi Roivas where the conversation focused more on sanctions against Russia than Finlands membership in NATO.

Stubb has previously expressed the opinion that NATO membership would improve Finlands security, so there was no disagreement on this point between the two leaders. The Estonian prime minister believes that the latest round of potential sanctions against Russia will further strengthen security for the nations on the Baltic, though Stubb was not as categorical. The Finnish politician repeated his idea that Estonia is currently ahead of Finland in integration with the West. This applies not only to NATO membership, said the politician. Of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, he said that the current Finnish government was unlikely to join the alliance.

Stubb visited Sweden on his second official visit as Prime Minister, where he met Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. Stubb also raised the issue of security, but again limited the conversation to a discussion of sanctions against Russia. In comments to journalists, the Finnish politician reiterated his desire to join NATO at some point in the future.

In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Stubb summed up his position on NATO saying that while he supports the idea of Finlands membership, he is waiting to see what the Finnish government's position will be on the subject. He said that the idea of joining NATO is not particularly popular among and remains a pipe dream for the country.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



Times Talk