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Defence Minister: Weighty reasons to close professional military positions to dual nationals

Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö plans to launch an initiative for legislation that would prevent people holding dual nationality from taking up professional military positions.

Jussi Niinistö Image: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva

The Defence Minister told Yle about the plan late Tuesday afternoon.

"I personally take the view that when we talk about professional military positions, there are weighty reasons excluding dual nationality. There will now be a review to clarify this. The required proposals will be prepared for legislation on the Defence Forces on how national security can be improved in filling professional military positions, and when an individual applies for training leading to a professional officer's commission," Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö told Yle.

Yle reported earlier on Tuesday that the Defence Forces have started applying restrictions to Russian-Finnish dual citizens in armed service.

Dual nationality has become a barrier to some positions in the Defence Forces. According to information received by Yle, guidelines have also been issued in the Defence Forces restricting the tasks assigned to conscripts with dual Russian-Finnish citizenship.

Defence Minister Niinistö stated to Yle that there are no official guidelines that mandate dual Russian-Finnish citizens be treated differently than anyone else in the Defence Forces.

Yle has seen guideline document

A few months ago, the Defence Forces carried out a security check on an individual who was to use a data system in a job which would have provided access to information about Defence Forces personnel. When the security check uncovered the individual's dual nationality, this person was barred from the job which had already been under discussion.

An Yle journalist has also seen a document laying out guidelines for the changes to conscript training.

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