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Finland’s mission is to strengthen NATO’s common defence

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The National Coali­tion Party’s group speech in Parlia­ment of Finland 17.5.2022 /​ MP Kai Mykkä­nen

Honor­able speaker,

“The begin­ning of all wisdom is the acknowl­edge­ment of facts.” Pres­i­dent J.K. Paasikivi used these words to describe foreign affairs on Inde­pen­dence Day in 1944, a few months after the end of the Contin­u­a­tion War.

Today, the Parliament’s Commit­tee on Foreign Affairs consid­ers it a fact that no union Between states, which do not belong to NATO, is suffi­ciently strong. Inde­pen­dent agree­ments with the Member States of NATO would in times of inter­na­tional war be super­seded by such Member States’ commit­ments towards NATO coun­tries.  I believe that Pres­i­dent Paasikivi would also have favoured the acknowl­edge­ment of facts in today’s foreign affairs envi­ron­ment.

Dear colleagues, Finnish people, in case of a prob­lem­atic situ­a­tion, we need a first-class defence commit­ment; second class promises are not enough.

Honor­able speaker,

In Febru­ary, Russia set out on an unfath­omable, horren­dous and uncon­trol­lable path. Russia’s choices and next moves have been impos­si­ble to under­stand and control based on the logic that we have aimed to predict them with.

We lost faith in being able to control our Russia-related risk solely by diplo­macy and national defence. We must maximise the mili­tary thresh­old to minimise the threat of an unpre­dictable reac­tion. There­fore, most Finns set out to support join­ing NATO imme­di­ately after Russia attacked Ukraine. 

Ärade talman,

Säker­heten – eller brist på den – är odelad vid Bottniska vikens kuster. Vår närmaste part­ner är Sverige. Vi förstärker varan­dra i denna historiska stund då vi tar ett steg till Natomedlem­skap hand i hand. Sveriges sak är vår. Och det är viktigt för oss att Finlands sak är också Sveriges.

The Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Finland refers to a strong­hold of the Nordic coun­tries.  NATO member­ship does not close but opens doors to Euro­pean defence coop­er­a­tion. The strong­hold of the Nordic coun­tries borders in the south with Germany’s strength­en­ing defence capac­ity. It is vital to keep Britain included. Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO member­ship strength­ens the Euro­pean pillar in NATO. In the end, it is also the best way of keep­ing the Amer­i­cans inter­ested in Europe.

Honor­able speaker,

While work­ing in Russia, my under­stand­ing grew that Russia’s percep­tion of Euro­pean nations is not solely about who is part of NATO and who isn’t. The atti­tude is more complex.

It is Russia’s choice whether it contin­ues to violate justice and human dignity. It shall then be judged for a reason. But, at the same time, there is space for vari­ous paths in terms of how we consider each other in neigh­bour­ing state matters. In conclu­sion, while we make our own solu­tions from the start­ing points of our own secu­rity, we do not move against anyone but instead in favour of secu­rity; I repeat:  

Сегодня мы принимаем решение не против кого-либо, а только ради безопасности Финляндии. 

Honor­able speaker,

Today’s histor­i­cal vote is not the end of some­thing but a start of some­thing new.

We have prepared for this day with excep­tion­ally good coop­er­a­tion over govern­ment and oppo­si­tion lines. Today, the National Coali­tion Party offers hand of coop­er­a­tion for the rati­fi­ca­tion period. Each one of us can promote each’s own Euro­pean sister parties’ under­stand­ing of the purpose why we aim to join NATO. Finland is not join­ing NATO to consume passive secu­rity. We wish to actively strengthen the common secu­rity of NATO coun­tries. It is expressed here too: 

Our mission is to partic­i­pate in strength­en­ing NATO’s common defence, not to consume the secu­rity of our allies. 

Today we open the door to a stronger Baltic Sea and the secu­rity of Nordic coun­tries. Above all, we open a door for Finnish people to a West­ern union of jointly guar­an­teed secu­rity. 

When there are cracks in secu­rity, its impor­tance is high­lighted. Finns have decided to fill that crack. 

As is the case for many others, both of my grand­fa­thers have fought in our wars for the inde­pen­dence of Finland. Honour to the sacri­fices of their gener­a­tion. For that sacri­fice, the courage to speak out rose first in their front­line: never alone again!

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