New Finnish Prime Minister to Seek NATO Membership

Politics » DEFENSE | June 16, 2014, Monday // 14:32| Views: 2709 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: New Finnish Prime Minister to Seek NATO Membership Alexander Stubb (L) in a 2011 EU ministerial meeting, here with Bulgarian counterpart, former Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov (R). File photo

Alexander Stubb, Finland's incoming Prime Minister wants to take his country into NATO, Finnish media outlets report.

Stubb, who was also elected Chairman of the National Coalition Party (NCP), will take the Prime Minister's office until next parliamentary elections scheduled for 2015.

He had previously been Minister for EU Affairs and Foreign Trade since 2011, Foreign Minister (2008-2011) and MEP between 2004 and 2008.

Jyrki Katainen earlier announced he was to stand down in order to run for a European office.

His resignation also suggested that of the entire cabinet.

Finnish daily the Helsinki Times, citing leading politicians from the country, said the ruling NCP would make a shift to the right under Stubb's presidency.

This includes joining NATO, a move which Stubb as vehemently defended over the years, but which most polls suggest Finnish citizens do not support.

Stubb believes the country should have taken the step back in 1995 when it joined the EU and has previously argued Finland should become a NATO member even without resorting to people's vote if necessary, broadcaster YLE reports him as saying.

Helsinki recently made a step toward closer assistance with NATO by signing a Memorandum of Understanding, but ruled out alliance membership.

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Tags: Alexander Stubb, Jyrki Katainen, Finland, NATO, NCP
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