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Friday's papers: Turkish spat continues, electricity price hikes, and Lions take on the Brits

The British national ice hockey team leads Finland in their all-time series 2-1, but the Finns could tie it up on Friday.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö (L), US President Joe Biden, and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (R) held a press conference on Thursday regarding Finland and Sweden's Nato applications. Image: Mandel Ngan / AFP

Finland finds itself in the centre of a spat between Turkey and Nato, as the military alliance member announced its list of demands needed to approve of Finland's and Sweden's accession to Nato.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson travelled to Washington DC to meet with US President Joe Biden to discuss Nato-related issues. ** **

Swedish-language daily Hufvudsbladet covered (siirryt toiseen palveluun) the mini-summi.

Given that the demands of Turkey are not entirely centred on Finland, HBL said it is unclear whether diplomatic talks will go through Finland or the United States. Niinistö emphasised that such responsibility belongs to Finland.

"We will find out exactly what they want and then we will leave a clear and unambiguous message. Then we can discuss further," Niinistö said.

However, there are certain aspects of Turkey's objection that cannot be smoothed over by Finland alone.

After Turkey acquired the Russian S-400 missile defence system the country was excluded from numerous aircraft deals, and kicked out of the F-35 fighter jet programme.

Helsingin Sanomat reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that the US does not see a need to revisit an F-16 jet fighter deal for Turkey in regards to Nato membership for Finland and Sweden.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said there are no plans to renegotiate or open direct talks with Turkey in the context of Finland and Sweden joining Nato.

According to Turkish media, the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could abandon his protest of Finland and Sweden's Nato bids if Turkey could purchase more F-16 fighter aircraft or was taken back into the fold of the F-35 program.

This week, Yle News' podcast All Points North examined Turkey's motivations in its attempts to block Finland and Sweden from joining Nato.

Electric bills rising

Business daily Kauppalehti carried (siirryt toiseen palveluun) a piece regarding the rapid price increases of electricity.

KL said that the price hike can be attributed to multiple factors— not just Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the electricity market was impacted by a depletion of water supplies due to overall dry weather, then cold temperatures in November and December and a general rising cost of natural gas throughout Europe.

These long-term impacts, coupled with the suspension of electricity imports from Russia, have driven the price of electricity to more than 80 euros per megawatt hour. In the beginning of January, however, electricity prices reached a high of almost 200 euros per megawatt hour. In the summer of 2020, electricity prices were only about 20 euros per megawatt hour.

KL spoke with Toni Sjöblom, an analyst at energy firm Gasum, about the recent developments impacting Finnish electric bills.

"There is talk of an estimated price increase of 20-30 euros per megawatt hour during May," Sjöblom told KL.

However, Sjöblom maintained a positive outlook on the situation.

"Looking ahead into the future, the market situation will calm down and more wind power will be available in Finland, and the impact [of cutting off Russian electricity imports] will be much smaller. In the longer term, it could drop around five euros per megawatt hour," Sjöblom emphasised.

World Ice Hockey Championships continue

Tampere-based paper Aamulehti wrote (siirryt toiseen palveluun) about the ongoing World Ice Hockey Championships hosted in the city.

The Finns, coming off an overtime loss to Sweden and winning every other game this tournament, find themselves playing the British national hockey team, or Team GB, on Friday afternoon.

This is a sharp contrast from the underdog British team. The Brits have not fared quite well against their opponents in the tournament, recording losses in all of their games. However, they gave the Norwegian team a run for their money, bringing the match to overtime, despite losing in the end.

While there is some evidence that ice hockey was invented (siirryt toiseen palveluun) in the United Kingdom, Aamulehti described their admittance to the tournament for the third consecutive time as a "small miracle."

The last time the Lions faced off against the Brits was in 2019, when the Finns handed them a 5-0 loss back in Slovakia. Despite this, the two teams have faced off only three times in history, and Britain is currently leading historic series 2-1, having beaten Finland in 1951 and 1961.

Finland may tie the series when the teams square off this afternoon, or Team GB may have the underdog story of the year against the reigning Olympic gold medalists.

Correction: An original version of this article incorrectly stated that Finland lost to Canada, instead of Sweden, in an overtime loss.