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Sun, 31 Aug, 2014 12:09:23 AM
MoU with NATO seen as vital
FTimes-STT Report, August 31
 
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb spoke at the Yle political show on Saturday. Photo – Str / Lehtikuva.
Prime Minister Alexander Stubb on Saturday said the Memorandum of Understanding on Host Nation Support (HNS) between Finland and NATO would strengthen Finland’s relationship with the military alliance. 
 
Speaking in the Saturday’s political talks on Yle, Stubb said such an MoU is important for a country like Finland, which is not a member of the military alliance.
 
“It is very important for Finland to protect the possibility of a partnership. It is very important because Finland is not a NATO member,” said the PM, adding that the MoU prepared over the last 10 years will be signed in the NATO summit next week.
 
Through signing the MoU the legal barriers to maintaining training and other activities will be removed so that NATO troops can come to the country in a crisis situation.
 
Stubb, however, said Finland is not committed to take NATO troops in the country.
 
He also said that the MoU is not an attempt to move towards a NATO membership.
 
The prime minister also termed the suspected repeated violations of the Finnish airspace by Russia a provocation, reported Yle.
 
He said repeated violations were made deliberately and designed to create tension, said the Yle report quoting the PM. “The three alleged violations by Russian aircraft within the space of one week were not a question of an accident.”
 
He said the behaviour gave a “bad message,” said the Yle report, adding that Stubb said Russia’s foreign policy is based on “power politics” and the philosophy that “if I’m winning, you’re losing”. 
 
Stubb also said it was not uncommon for the superpower to create instability on its borders, such as in Ukraine and in Georgia in 2008, the Yle report added. 
 
 
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