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Haglund: Sweden and Finland closer to NATO than ever

Finland’s Ministry of Defence Carl Haglund says he believes Russia’s actions in Ukraine have brought Finland and Sweden closer to NATO now than they ever were in the past.

Puolustusministeri Carl Haglund.
Puolustusministeri Carl Haglund. Image: Yle

During his party’s conference in the southern coastal city of Hanko on Saturday, the Swedish People’s Party (RKP) Chair Carl Haglund spoke of the Ukraine crisis and its ramifications, defending Ukraine’s right to sovereignty and self-determination.

“In a free Europe, every country is free to decide on its own development, without an army situated behind the border threatening to barge in,” said Haglund.

Haglund says he is of the opinion that the crisis in Ukraine has added momentum to the NATO debate in Finland.

“It is a bit of a paradox that Russia’s actions have pushed Finland and Sweden closer to NATO membership than ever before. I doubt that was the Russian intention,” he said.

In his speech, Haglund said he hopes that discussion regarding the defence policy of the country will continue until the next parliamentary election, as Finland needs to engage in a serious debate on the country’s defence and security solutions.

Haglund indicated that he expected his own RKP party to decide its official position on these matters by next year’s party conference at the latest.

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