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Defence minister: Dual citizens from "democratic states" can work in Finnish military

Defence minister Jussi Niinistö said it would not be problematic for the military to hire dual citizens from "democratic states," according to news outlet MTV.

Jussi Niinistö
File photo of Finland's Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Minister of Defence Jussi Niinistö said he sees no problem with dual nationals from "democratic states" working for Finland's military, news outlet MTV reports.

Niinistö's comments come after a lengthy debate in the country concerning dual nationals and their abilities to work in positions that deal with national security. The defence ministry is expected to present a law proposal to parliament in mid-October which would ban dual citizens from working at the Defence Forces.

Earlier this month interior minister Kai Mykkänen announced the ministry did not plan to move forward with a proposal to parliament for an outright ban on dual citizens working for the Finnish Border Guard in military posts.

That same day, the defence minister said his ministry's proposal to ban dual nationals from working at the Defence Forces would still proceed and be presented to government in mid-October, saying he still hopes the interior minister will join him.

"For example there are thousands of Swedish-Finnish [nationals] and I do not see a problem if they want to work for the military," he told MTV on Saturday.

The debate about dual nationals has also expanded beyond employment within the military or border guard. Last month, a job recruiter was charged with discrimination after turning down a job applicant because of her dual citizenship.

Last year there were a record number of foreign residents in Finland who became dual citizens.

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