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Finland's Parliament likely to vote on NATO application on Tuesday

Tan KW
Publish date: Tue, 17 May 2022, 07:32 PM

HELSINKI - Finland's Parliament is likely to vote on Tuesday on a proposal to apply for membership of the NATO military alliance, in a historic policy shift prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

President Sauli Niinisto and the government decided officially on Sunday that Finland would apply for membership but the decision is pending Parliament's approval, which is expected with an overwhelming majority.

Debate in the legislature began on Monday and the first session finished more than 14 hours later, after midnight, after members gave 212 addresses on the topic, the vast majority in favour of joining.

Early on Tuesday, the foreign affairs committee decided to join the state leadership in proposing to Parliament that the Nordic country should apply for NATO membership.

"Having heard a very large number of experts and having received the opinions of 10 (parliamentary) committees, the foreign affairs committee agrees with the government that Finland should apply for membership in NATO. This decision is unanimous," its chairman, Jussi Halla-aho, told reporters.

Parliament will continue debating the issue in a second plenary session in the afternoon, at the end of which there will be a vote on the matter if one member opposes the proposal.

At least one member told media he would make sure there was a vote if no one else did.

 


  - Reuters

 

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