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PM does not rule out nuclear weapons or permanent Nato bases in Finland

Sanna Marin says it's important that Finland does not set preconditions on its pending Nato membership.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP). Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) told Yle on Saturday that it was impossible to anticipate when Hungary and Turkey would ratify Finland's accession into Nato. 

"Naturally we hope that things will move forward swiftly on this matter," Marin said on Yle TV1's Saturday chat show, Ykkösaamu

Hungary and Turkey are the only two Nato members yet to ratify Finland's and Sweden's accession into the alliance.

An audience question about Finland's Nato entry inquired why the country has not ruled out accepting nuclear weapons or permanent bases on its territory. 

"I've considered it very important that we don't set these kinds of preconditions, or limit our own room for maneuvering, when it comes to permanent bases or nuclear weapons,'' Marin explained, adding that she believed it was unlikely that nuclear weapons would be situated on Finnish soil. 

Nature, economy and Ukraine

This week the EU's nature restoration proposal heated up domestic politics, with opposition parties filing an interpellation on the matter. The environmental proposal calls for member states covering at least 20 percent of the EU's land and sea areas by 2030 with nature restoration measures. 

With a price tag of nearly one billion euros, carrying out the conservation efforts would cost Finland more than any other EU state. Since much of Europe is barren of forests, Finland—the most forested member state in the EU by percentage of land area—would have a large burden in reaching this goal.

"The government does not see this as a reasonable cost," Marin said, explaining that Finland can downvote the proposal, though it will first work to reshape it. 

With the PM's term in office winding down, Marin told Yle her government would especially focus on the Finnish economy, the country's China policy and the war in Ukraine in the coming months. 

"Our [European leaders'] most important job is reducing energy prices while supporting Ukraine, so Ukraine can win the war as quickly as possible and push Russia out." 

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