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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

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



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