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Thursday's papers: Turkey blocks talks, Finnish vegetables, and the "Nato pen"

Helsingin Sanomat reports on the latest developments following Turkey's decision to block Finland and Sweden's Nato accession talks from going ahead.

The pen with which Haavisto signed the letter announcing Finland's interest to join Nato represents a watershed moment in political and state history, according to the Finnish National Museum. Image: EPA-EFE/All Over Press

Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) carries a timeline chronicling the latest developments in Finland and Sweden's Nato membership bid, after Turkey blocked the alliance's decision to process the two country's applications on Wednesday.

HS writes that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York on Wednesday, and told reporters afterwards that the talks were "very positive", with Blinken assuring him that the United States would get the message across about Turkey's security concerns.

Çavuşoğlu reiterated the Turkish administration's view that Nato cannot accept members who support "terrorist organizations", referring to its concerns about the militant political group the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The Turkish Foreign Minister told Blinken that both Finland and Sweden, as well as the United States, should stop supporting the Kurdish organisation.

HS also reports that the US expressed on Wednesday that Turkey's concerns about Finland and Sweden joining the military alliance would be allayed.

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson will visit the United States on Thursday to meet with President Joe Biden. The agenda will include Finland and Sweden's potential membership of Nato.

Price surprise

While the Consumer Price Index reported an average 0.3 percent rise in the price of consumer goods for April from March, this is not yet reflected in a sample shopping basket collected by the paper Taloussanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

The paper chronicles rising food prices by carrying out a monthly shop.

In May, despite the reported increase in prices, the cost of the sample shopping basket fell by 0.6 percent, compared to last month's shop, the paper reports.

Taloussanomat notes that the cost of the shop was brought down by a significant decrease in the price of domestic vegetables - especially tomatoes and cucumbers. Prices of domestic tomatoes were 49 percent down from last month, while cucumbers were 21 percent cheaper than in April.

Onions, however, were up 22.9 percent from last month, while Vaasa rye bread had experienced a price hike of 11.4 percent since April.

Compared to April 2021, food prices are up by 6 percent, according to the Consumer Price Index.

The "Nato pen"

Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) carries an item asking: What will happen to Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto's (Green) golden pen?

The pen with which Haavisto signed the letter announcing Finland's interest in joining Nato has become so legendary that the Finnish National Museum now wants the writing instrument for its permanent collection, IS writes.

"According to the National Museum, the pen represents a watershed moment in political and state history," Haavisto told IS adding that he intends to say yes to the museum's request.

The date of the donation has not yet been fixed, the paper reports.

"I'll just have to let the ink dry a bit," Haavisto said.

The gold-coloured Hay ballpoint pen used by Haavisto to sign the historic document was sold out on Tuesday in Stockmann's online store. IS writes that the department store told paper Taloussanomat that as of Wednesday, over 800 buyers had expressed interest in acquiring the brand of pen.