"Russian newspaper" cites data from sociological polls according to which less than 20% of Finns want to see their country in NATO. Politicians of the country "sharply change the rhetoric": they either speak for NATO, then suddenly they repeat the mantra about neutrality.
Get the new premiere of Alexander Stubb. A week ago, the newspaper notes, he spoke of the need for Finland to join the alliance, and the other day suddenly said that the country's foreign policy would remain unchanged, including on the NATO issue. (However, it may be only before the referendum.)
In the Finnish Parliament, this is a real mess. “None of the current deputies, with the exception, perhaps, of the three, opposes Finland’s membership in NATO,” said Janus Putkonen, editor-in-chief of the Verkkomedia political information portal, in an interview with RG. And the deputy director of the Alexandrovsky Institute of the University of Helsinki, Markku Kangaspuro, believes that the majority of deputies do not support the idea of Suomi joining the alliance.
So “for” the majority - or “against”?
But these two are experts. Even if they do not know, “for” or “against” Finnish deputies, then, probably, the deputies themselves do not know either.
As for the people of Finland, his opinion, as usual, will not be taken into account. “For example, a few years ago, most Finns did not want the country to join the European Union and switch to the euro. However, the deputies voted differently. The same can happen with the NATO question, ”said Janus Putkonen.
In turn, Kangaspuro clarifies that the decision of the parliament needs the approval of the president. And President Sauli Niinistö does not consider it necessary to join the country to military blocs.
Finally, other experts say that if the Finnish authorities do without the people in their decision (that is, they decide to enter Suomi into NATO without a referendum), a civil war will break out in the country.
However, will the authorities hold a referendum? Who needs this plebiscite, if it is clear without him that only a fifth of the Finns support the idea of joining the Alliance?
In general, in Finland, on the NATO issue, it really is a complete mess. But with clarification - confusion in the government and among deputies. The people are clear: for NATO, less than one-fifth. The people and the state are about to find themselves on opposite sides of the barricades, right on Marx.
Separately, it should be said about the position of Prime Minister Stubb and Defense Minister Karl Haglund.
Daniel Zubov (Center for International Journalism and Research) recalled that NATO has long dreamed of closing the "northern link of its western front against Russia." Alliance troops could be located less than 200 km from St. Petersburg. And the new Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb 14 of June declared that his goal is “to strengthen national security to the limit,” the best way for which is the state’s membership in NATO. Before taking office, Stubb also stated the need for NATO membership, since Finland "does not have access to intelligence, planning, security guarantees and alliance decision-making systems."
ITAR-TASS indicates that Alexander Stubb will hold the post of prime minister until the next parliamentary elections in 2015. That is, just before the time of a possible referendum.
Some facts from the biography of the premier leads "Forbes". Stubb worked as an adviser to the Foreign Ministry of Finland, in the Finnish representation in the EU, as an advisor to the president of the European Commission. In 2004, he was elected to the European Parliament. In 2008, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. Being in this position, he condemned Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This person believes that Finland should join NATO at the same time as joining the EU - that is, back in the 1995 year.
Newspaper "Sight" unearthed other details about Stubb. Journalists found out that he “treats Russia with difficulty and, in a sense, even condescendingly.” And this very indulgence contradicts his own statements about "ensuring security."
For example, in one of the interviews he stated that the threat from Russia towards Finland does not exist, and all the talk about it is like “dandruff that can be shaken off”. Moreover, “on an international scale, Russia is not a great power,” this man believes.
At the same time, since 2008, he has emerged as an opponent of imposing sanctions against Russia. He does not believe in the thesis that "Finland can share the fate of the Crimea." Stubb says that "those who draw such parallels have a vague idea of international politics."
Thus, Stubb is not at all one of those who believe that joining NATO follows because Moscow is pulling hands towards Helsinki. But whether he will lobby for NATO’s real Atlantic interests is another matter. Rather yes than no. At least, it will definitely become clear in the coming months, because the idea of joining the Alliance Stubb will have to be voiced before the elections of the 2015 year. Voice is not evasive, but definitely.
And here is Haglund. This person, as recalled "Sight", in a recent interview with Reuters, said that Finland "should seriously consider joining NATO." That he proposed to hold a referendum after the parliamentary elections 2015 year.
This gentleman, unlike Stubb, permits a threat emanating from Russia.
“I think that there are more reasons for membership in NATO than ever,” said the head of the military department. These grounds are a threat from Russia, which is expressed both in the “role of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian crisis” and in the war with Georgia (2008 year). Finally, Moscow, according to Mr. Haglund, itself provokes Helsinki to become part of the alliance. True, “Russia is not a threat to Finland now,” but “the situation is unpredictable.” As a result, the minister agreed to the point that he said: "... Russia should not worry about Finland’s entry into NATO, since the alliance does not pose a threat to anyone."
It is clear that the Kremlin believes otherwise.
The newspaper "Vzglyad" further notes that Stubb and Haglund are like-minded people in terms of Atlantic integration. It was under Haglund that the state’s annual defense expenditures increased. Now they make up 3,1 billion euros, and in the near future they will increase by another 200 million euros in order, as the minister says, to “provide reliable protection”.
However, numerous opponents of ensuring “reliable protection” criticize the position of the government precisely because the desire to join the Alliance may well lead (and will lead) to a deterioration in relations with Russia. And there - and provoke aggression.
Kommersant writes that Alexander Stubb, stating that he would like to join the Alliance after 2015 for the sake of "maximum protection" of citizens, referred to the aggression of Moscow against Kiev. The publication also reminds that at the end of April 2014 of Helsinki announced the decision to sign a memorandum enabling NATO to deploy military aircraft and ships in Finland and “if necessary” to provide troops and military equipment to it.
As for the reaction of Russia, the week before last, the Russian Foreign Ministry gave an unequivocal warning that “against the background of increasing NATO infrastructure” in the Baltic States and Poland, talk of Finland’s membership in the Alliance could lead to “dangerous negative changes in the North Baltic region”.
Well, the northern political alignment is more or less clear. Obviously, Stubb and Haglund will do everything to hold a referendum and "introduce" the country into NATO. In the coming months and weeks, it is necessary to wait for the reinforcement of the relevant government rhetoric (for example, “maximum protection”) aimed at shaping the “anti-neutral” political opinion of the population. With a significant change in sentiment in the electorate, prepared informationally, in 2015, the authorities will launch a referendum.
True, there is one “but”: after the elections, completely different people may come to power.
Observed and commented on Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru