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HomePoliticsFinnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto Believes in Rapid Sweden NATO Membership

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto Believes in Rapid Sweden NATO Membership

In a modern building designed by the architect Kristian Gullichsen, the Finnish castle as the Finnish embassy in Stockholm is called, sits the man who could become the country’s next president. At least if the opinion polls are to be believed. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, 65, is the favorite to succeed 74-year-old Sauli Niinistö when his mandate expires next year.

In a survey commissioned by Ilta-Sanomat, 52 percent of Finns can imagine voting for Haavisto. This despite the fact that the foreign minister’s party, the Greens, performed poorly in the parliamentary election in April.

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During his visit to Stockholm, Pekka Haavisto also discussed NATO. Among other things, he emphasizes that Finland’s NATO membership is not complete without Sweden’s membership in the defense alliance.

On April 4, Finland became a member of NATO. The country’s first action was that Pekka Haavisto handed over the document showing that Sweden’s membership had been ratified to US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken. Against this background, Finland is working hard to influence Turkey to ratify Swedish membership.

Do you think that Sweden will become a member of NATO in time for the summit in Vilnius in July?

– Yes, I am optimistic, but of course all the stars in the sky need to be aligned after the election. After all, it is both a presidential election and a parliamentary election. The outcome needs to be such that Turkey can make a decision.

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