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Thursday's papers: Nato poll, Ukrainians in Finland, and contraband coffee

A newspaper poll shows that a majority of people in Finland favour joining Nato alone rather than waiting for Sweden.

Huumeratsiassa takavarikoidun laivan kannella näkyy kahvipaketteja.
The photo released by the US Navy showing the packages of Paulig's Juhla Mokka line of coffee. Image: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
Yle News

In a poll by tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun), 53 percent of respondents said they would be willing to see Finland join Nato without Sweden.

The question comes at a time when Sweden's Nato accession lies in limbo as it is held hostage by Turkey. According to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his country seemingly approves of Finland joining the defence alliance. However, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) has said that Finland has the "patience" to wait for such a decision.

The survey commissioned by IS and conducted by polling firm Taloustutkimus also had 28 percent of respondents saying that Finland should wait to join Nato with Sweden while 19 percent of those polled said they could not say.

Taloustutkimus research director Juho Rahkonen offered his input on the survey, noting that Finland "cannot turn back now" and that is "clear message to decision makers".

Rahkonen further noted that people in Finland have become slightly more convinced that they should not hold out for Sweden on the issue of joining Nato, compared to previous surveys.

"The Finnish opinion in this survey can be summed up in one sentence: 'Sveriges sak är inte vår' [Sweden's cause is not ours], Rahkonen emphasised, recalling a famous piece of Swedish propaganda during the Winter War — "Finland's cause is ours (siirryt toiseen palveluun)".

Ukrainian arrivals and municipalities residence

As the war in Ukraine approaches its one-year anniversary, many Ukrainian arrivals in Finland are preparing to apply for their municipality of residence.

Ostrobothnia-based Ilkka-Pohjalainen (siirryt toiseen palveluun) writes that after living in a municipality for one year, the arrivals from Ukraine will be entitled to apply for their municipality of residence.

While applying for a municipality of residence is not mandatory, it would entitle Ukrainian arrivals to benefits not seen under the status of temporary protection. In addition, it will mean that Ukrainian children must attend Finnish schools in their municipality rather than remote Ukrainian schooling, which is accepted under temporary protection status.

The Finnish Immigration Service said on Monday that more than 40,000 Ukrainians came to Finland last year after the temporary protection introduced by the EU.

IP predicted a potential logistical nightmare looming as municipalities braced for a possible influx of applications from Ukrainians.

The largest issue, according to sources interviewed, is a lack of knowing how many will apply. A Ministry of the Interior poll from last summer found that just under a third of Ukrainian arrivals planned to stay in Finland.

Finnish brand spotted at massive drug seizure

Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) covers a US Coast Guard vessel seizing illegal drugs worth over 30 million euros from a fishing vessel in the Gulf of Oman.

According to a press release by the US Navy, 4,000 kilograms of hashish and 512 kilograms of methamphetamines were seized from the vessel.

As part of its press release, the US Navy posted a picture of the vessel's deck showing yellow sacks and dozens — if not more — of packages depicting the red design of Finnish brand Paulig's Juhla Mokka coffee.

HS contacted Paulig over their brand's appearance at the site of the drug trafficking incident, who were already alerted by the news.

"It is unfortunate that our brand has been used for criminal activity. We don't have any more information on the matter," commented Paulig's director of communications and responsibility Kaisa Lipponen.

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