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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, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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