President Sauli Niinistö of Finland and Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson of Sweden held a joint press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on 17 May 2022. (Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva)

DELEGATIONS from Finland and Sweden on Wednesday talked to Turkey about their countries’ applications to join Nato.

İbrahim Kalın, the Turkish presidential spokesperson, said Turkey called on Finland and Sweden to take concrete action against groups it considers terrorist organisations and a security threat against it. Such groups include the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), People’s Defense Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD).

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky posed for a photo taken in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, 26 May 2022, by the Ukrainian Presidential Press Service. (AFP Photo – Ukrainian Presidential Press Service)

PRIME MINISTER Sanna Marin (SDP) has urged the West to increase its support for Ukraine and expand its sanctions against Russia.

“The war is continuing and material reserves are being depleted. That’s why we must provide support for as long as the war continues and, after that, we must help with the rebuilding,” she stated in an interview with YLE in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday.

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Markku Jalonen, the managing director of Local and County Government Employers (KT), spoke to reporters in the national conciliator’s office in Helsinki on 11 May 2022. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING TALKS over the terms and conditions of employment of some employees in the municipal sector have fallen through.

Local and County Government Employers (KT) and the Public Sector Union (Jau) and Negotiating Organisation for Public Sector Professionals (Juko) had continued the talks after the latest settlement proposal was rejected by the Union of Social and Health Care Professionals in Finland (Tehy) and Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (Super).

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An aerial view of a clear-felling area in Mikkeli in August 2021. Data from Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) reveals that the harvesting of logs for the needs of the forest industry rose to an all-time high of 65 million cubic metres in Finland in 2021. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE LAND USE SECTOR turned from a carbon sink into a source of emissions for the first time ever in Finland in 2021.

Statistics Finland on Wednesday reported based on its preliminary data that greenhouse gas emissions stayed roughly unchanged last year, but the carbon sink of forests contracted significantly as a result of intensive felling and the falling trend in the increment of the growing stock detected in compiling the national forest inventory.

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Journalists at work in the Finnish Tax Administration’s office in Vallila, Helsinki, in November 2017, following the release of income tax data from the previous year. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

FINLAND is the 88th best country in the world at keeping business and tax information under wraps, indicates the Financial Secrecy Index 2022.

Finnwatch, a Finnish non-governmental organisation that investigates the impacts of business activities, stated last week that the country has a lot to do to improve the transparency of business ownership data and requirements of tax reporting.

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Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) remains confident that Finland and Turkey can work through their differences over the Nato bid of Finland. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

WEEKS OF DISCUSSIONS will be required to resolve the Nato-related dispute between Finland and Turkey, gauges Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens).

Turkey has repeatedly expressed its opposition to the membership bids of Finland and Sweden, accusing the two countries of “harbouring terrorists” for refusing to extradite people it considers terrorists due to their alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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Commuters at Helsinki Central Station on 23 March 2022. The Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva) believes Finns are realistic about the risks associated with the pursuit of Nato membership by Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

FINNS believe Russia is 86 per cent likely to recourse to hybrid tactics and 30 per cent likely to recourse to military action during the Nato membership process of Finland, finds a survey conducted by the Finnish Business and Policy Forum (Eva).

Joining the defence alliance, on the other hand, is estimated to shield against actions by Russia.

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Tracks near the railway station in Salo, Southwest Finland, in August 2019. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

AN INVESTIGATION by Helsingin Sanomat reveals the National Enforcement Authority Finland has frozen more than a thousand freight wagons under the sanctions imposed on Russian businesses, individuals and other entities by the European Union.

The wagons are kept in undisclosed locations on sidings and in machine yards.

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Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre) says Finland is doing its utmost to be able to take delivery of the floating natural gas terminal once it arrives. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

GASGRID Finland and Excelerate Energy have signed a 10-year lease agreement for Exemplar, a floating liquefied natural gas terminal owned by the energy company based in Texas, the US.

Minister of Finance Annika Saarikko (Centre) on Friday stated in a news conference that the floating terminal, which has a storage capacity of almost 151,000 cubic metres, will support the Finnish effort to cut off dependence on natural gas imported from Russia.

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The Finnish Immigration Service has issued new guidelines for decision-making regarding asylum applications from Afghans. The new guidelines concern the security situation in Kabul province.

On 9 July 2021, the Finnish Immigration Service suspended issuing negative decisions to Afghan citizens that would entail removal from the country.

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A woman walked a dog in Helsinki on 25 May 2020. Forecasts indicate that the warm weather of recent days will start making way for rains in parts of Finland on Thursday, 26 May 2022. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

TUESDAY is expected to be the warmest day of the spring so far, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

“Temperatures are highish in light of the season. Even if the high-temperature was broken on Monday, it wouldn’t count as it’s set to be even warmer on Tuesday,” Juha Föhr, the meteorologist on duty at Foreca, stated to Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.

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A block of flats in Helsinki on 18 February 2020. Over a quarter of Finns are unsure whether their housing company has any outstanding debt, reveals a survey commissioned by Nordea. (Hanna Matikainen – Lehtikuva)

MANY Finns are unprepared for an increase in the interest rates of housing company loans and their impact on housing costs, finds a survey commissioned by Nordea.

Nordea on Thursday revealed that more than a quarter (27%) of the survey respondents were unable to tell whether their housing company has any outstanding debt. Almost half (46%) of the respondents who knew their housing company has outstanding debt were unaware whether the company has prepared for a rise in interest rates in any ways.

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The headquarters of OP Financial Group in Helsinki in July 2021. The Finnish financial group expects the national economy to expand by 2.0 per cent in 2022 and 0.6 per cent in 2023. (Mikko Stig – Lehtikuva)

ECONOMISTS at OP Financial Group expect the Finnish economy to grow by 2.0 per cent in 2022 and 0.6 per cent in 2023.

While the economic growth will be supported by the recovery of exports and service consumption from the coronavirus pandemic, it will slow down gradually as a consequence of rising inflation, more stringent monetary policy and declines in the growth of export markets, as well as the war of aggression waged in Ukraine by Russia.

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NCC has been commissioned by the city of Mikkeli to build the Saimaanportti school in Finland. The project is a turnkey contract, and the order value is approximately SEK 270 million.

The school encompasses approximately 62,000 square meters and will accommodate 850 students from grades 1 through 9. NCC’s assignment also includes the construction of a sports hall, gym and schoolyard.

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A motorist drives a scooter through as a heavy dust storm hits Iraq's capital Baghdad early on May 16, 2022. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Here are the most eye-catching pictures of this week, from all around the world.

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