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Base Closures on Hold

Military bases that are threatened with closure have received a new lease of life. Regional newspapers in central Finland report that the government's upcoming security and defence policy report does not propose closing more military bases.

Under the axe have been the Savo Brigade in Mikkeli and the air defence regiment in Hyrylä.

The fate of the military bases will be determined on Tuesday when key ministers meet to discuss the security and defence report with President Tarja Halonen.

An official from the Defence Ministry told regional newspapers that under current circumstances no base closures are on the cards.

However, threat of closure remains in the air because of fewer conscripts. In practice, the next government will be faced with the decision to eliminate some military bases.

The security and defence policy report will also outline a timetable for phasing out anti-personnel landmines. Key cabinet ministers agreed last week that Finland should join an international anti-personnel landmine ban, the Ottawa Treaty, in 2012. The last anti-personnel landmine stocks would be destroyed in 2016.

The security and defence policy report should be completed by Friday at the latest, after which it will go before parliament.

YLE24