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Thursday's papers: Another step towards Nato, Ukraine's renewed jet requests, and Sanna Marin getting NYU degree

Nato, Ukraine and a nationwide cleaner strike are among the topics discussed by newspapers on Thursday.

Sanna Marin ja Volodymyr Zelenskyi kävelevät rinnakkain kukka kimput kädessä kadulla. Taustalla sotilas asuinen henkilö ja ohikulkijoita.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on 10 March. Image: Ukrainan presidentin kanslia / Lehtikuva
Yle News

The Finnish parliament approved the country’s Nato treaty by a vote of 184–7 at the beginning of the month, and on Thursday, Niinistö will officially sign it into law, Aamulehti reported.

There are other steps, however, as the Tampere-based paper noted that Finland still awaits ratification by the final two remaining Nato member states yet to approve its application, Turkey and Hungary.

Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country had decided to begin the process of ratifying Finland's application to join the alliance.

The Hungarian parliament is expected to vote on Finland's membership next Monday.

Cleaner strike begins

Finland may get a bit untidy this week as thousands of cleaners and property managers walked off the job on Thursday morning, as part of a two-day industrial action calling for better pay.

Citing news agency STT, newspaper Ilkka-Pohjalainen reported that some 25,000 employees have taken part, affecting 16 cleaning service and maintenance providers and thousands of sites across Finland.

The new round of industrial action was confirmed on Wednesday, after the sector's trade union PAM rejected a reconciliation proposal put forth by the national labour mediator.

PAM has also issued another three-day strike warning for next week, which could start next Thursday. That industrial action would involve an estimated 27,000 employees across 18 companies, Ilkka-Pohjalainen noted.

HS: Ukraine requests Hornet discussion

Kyiv has requested that Ukraine, Finland and the United States hold trilateral talks to discuss Hornet jets, Helsingin Sanomat reported on Thursday, citing information obtained by its journalists.

The talks would concern the possibility of Finland sending some of its decommissioned Hornet fighters to Ukraine. Over the course of several years, Finland's current Hornet fleet will start to be decommissioned in 2025 and gradually replaced with US-made F-35 jets.

The renewed request comes after comments Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) made while meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in Kyiv earlier this month.

At the time, Marin said that "there will certainly be a discussion about fighter jets. Various countries are weighing their own abilities to deliver this kind of military support. I think this could also be discussed in Finland."

However, the comments sparked a confused reaction, with some Finnish leaders expressing surprise by the statement.

HS noted that it was not aware of similar requests made to other countries.

Marin to receive honorary degree

New York University is to award Finland's PM Sanna Marin with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL) reported on Thursday.

The university described Marin as "a member of the vanguard of a new generation of European leadership," praising her leadership throughout the Covid pandemic and response to Russia's war against Ukraine.

The university's other honorary degree recipients this year include Nobel-winning chemist Carolyn Bertozzi, American Ballet Theatre (ABT) principal dancer Misty Copeland, and science education innovator and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) President Emeritus Freeman A. Hrabowski.

The award ceremony will take place on 17 May at Yankee Stadium in New York City, where Marin is to deliver a keynote speech, according to the Swedish-language daily.

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