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Parliament approves Finland's Nato membership, 184-7

Six MPs from the Left Alliance, one of the governing parties, voted against joining Nato.

Kansanedustajia ja yleisöä eduskunnan istuntosalissa.
Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of Nato membership on 1 March, weeks before its legislative term draws to a close. Image: Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva
Yle News

The Finnish Parliament approved the country’s Nato treaty by a vote of 184–7 on Wednesday afternoon. Seven MPs were absent while one abstained.

The result was similar to the vote in favour of Finland’s membership application last May, which passed by a vote of 188–8.

This time the 'no' votes included six representatives from the Left Alliance, which is part of the centre-left coalition government. The other 'no' was from Ano Turtiainen, who set up a one-man parliamentary group called Power Belongs to the People after being expelled from the opposition Finns Party.

Mika Niikko of the Finns Party abstained, while seven MPs were absent, including two each from the Left Alliance and the Greens, which belong to the government.

Thus only half of the 16 MPs from the Left Alliance voted in favour of membership.

The Foreign Affairs Committee had unanimously approved membership.

Finland's Nato membership takes effect after ratification from Turkey and Hungary, and a final rubber-stamp from the United States, which already gave its green light last summer. So far 28 of the 30 Nato countries have ratified membership for Finland and Sweden, who applied together last May.

Despite the delay in approval from Turkey and Hungary, Parliament decided to finalise its part before the end of its legislative term, scheduled for 29 March, and elections in early April.

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