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Parliament Argues Question of Military Non-Alignment

As expected, debate sprang up in Parliament on Monday around the government's security and defence review. The government says Finland remains militarily non-aligned, but the main opposition party disagrees.

The main opposition party National Coalition wants to strike all references to non-alignment from official policy. Parliament will vote on the party's suggestion Tuesday.

National Coalition Chairman Jyrki Katainen says Finland can no longer consider itself militarily non-aligned since it has pledged to cooperate in European Union battle groups and other security guarantees.

He also said that Finland should participate in military operations on the EU?s mandate alone. The current version of the security policy would require that any operation also be sanctioned either by the United Nations or the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, OSCE.

The security and defence report lays out security policy for the next four years.

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