Finnish President Sauli Niinistö met with the press after the Finnish Foreign Minister deposited the instrument of accession to the North Atlantic Treaty on April 4, 2023 in Brussels, Belgium. Finland became the 31st member state of The North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO. LEHTIKUVA

Finland in the world press

Finland Gives NATO a King in the North

Finland’s accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was covered in an article by Foreign Policy on April 6. The article highlights how Finland is emerging as a strong defense force in the Nordic-Baltic region as it joins NATO.

The article begins with the Finland’s long binding neutrality and then subsequently joining NATO outlining the country's defense capabilities. “Finland will field F-35 fighter jets by 2025, which will replace U.S.-designed F/A-18 Hornets currently deployed, for example. Finland is also one of only a few countries that fire the so-called joint air-to-surface standoff missile, known as JASSM in defense parlance, which allows Finnish fighter jets to launch armor-piercing standoff strikes at about a million dollars a pop,” the article reads.

The article also establishes existing presence of NATO in the Nordic region with  Norway closer to the Russian port city of Murmansk than Finland and Narva, Estonia, nearer to St. Petersburg. However it emphasizes that Finnish officials see the entry of Finland as an opportunity to extend deterrence into the North and the Baltic seas.

“We have rather good military intelligence so that we actually know more about where their troops are than they do in Moscow,” Harri Ohra-aho, a ministerial advisor for intelligence in Finland’s defense ministry told Foreign Policy adding that the defense ministry have followed those troops for more than 100 years.

Original story was published by Foreign Policy on 06.04.2023 and can be found here.

Misogyny is a mighty force on the right – just look at the fate of Finland’s Sanna Marin

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s defeat in the recent parliamentary elections of 2023 by right wing parties was published in an article by The Guardian on April 4. The article looks into Marin’s tenure since 2019 highlighting how some of the elements during her time as Prime Minister went mainly unremarked which includes her COVID response, her May 2022 announcement that Finland would apply to join NATO and social and fiscal policies.

It also mentions how the video footage of Marin’s partying in 2022 became a talking point in tabloids and social media and was amplified by traditional news outlets and new media.
The article also provides details on the issues that political parties fought on during the parliamentary elections, focusing on the increasing public debt.

“..this is what the NCP fought her on: a pretty straightforward, Cameroonian case that everyone needed to tighten their belts, and this meant slashing welfare spending. It is a manoeuvre we will all recognise from 2010, peddling as masochism what is actually sadism, soothing an anxious nation with the promise of austerity for other people,” the article reads, calling it a quite conventional centre-right thinking and compares it to the rest of Europe, where rightwing parties have planted themselves on more populist, ethno-nationalist territory.

Original story was published by The Guardian on 04.04.2023 and can be found here.

Eyeing Moscow, Finland to purchase Israeli David’s Sling anti-missile system

Finland’s announcement to purchase Israeli David’s Sling anti-missile system was covered in an article by The Times of Israel on April 6. The article provides details on the anti-missile system highlighting that it marks the first foreign sale of the system.

It gives a background on presence of the David’s Sling, also known as the Magic Wand in Israel since 2017. “… makes up the middle tier of Israel’s multi-layer missile defense capabilities, which also included the short-range Iron Dome and a top level of  Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems, which are intended to engage long-range ballistic missiles,” the article reads.

The story mentions that David’s Sling has also been a key request to Israel from Ukraine amid Russia’s invasion, although Israel has balked at supplying the system so far.

Original story was published by The Times of Israel on 06.04.2023 and can be found here.

Ottawa condemns Russian embassy calling Finland 'nuclear target' after joining NATO

The story about Canada’s federal government condemning a tweet from Russia's embassy in Canada calling new NATO member Finland a "nuclear target” was published in CBC News on April 6. The article talks about Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly’s response to the Russian embassy in Canada calling the rhetoric of Russian regime as reckless and a dangerous propaganda.

The Russian embassy called out Finland for joining NATO, accusing outgoing Prime Minister Sanna Marin of abandoning the country's long-standing policy of non-alignment.

"[Marin] succeeded in converting neutral Finland that enjoyed good relationship (sic) with all countries including Russia into another potential nuclear target," the tweet reads.

“The Russian regime's nuclear rhetoric is reckless. We will never hesitate to call out their dangerous propaganda," the spokesperson said in an email to CBC.

Original story was published by The CBC News on 06.04.2023 and can be found here.

Kasinopartio: Finland Next To Regulate The Casino Market

The article on Finland’s stance on opening casino industry to the market was published on European Gaming on March 31. The article highlights the strict regulations in casino market globally while mentioning Finland and Norway as exceptions with state-owned casinos being the only ones entitled to offer gambling products.

It looks into the Q3 2022 results of state-owned Veikkaus as an example which urged the government to open the casino market to offshore operators after it has been losing its market share rapidly owing to the growing competition from international online casino operators.

The article mentions stance of different political parties on the issue. “Right-wing conservatives are ready to open the casino industry to competition, and among the smaller right-wing parties, the Swedish People’s Party is also on the side of allowing competition. Amongst left-wing parties, we find the Social Democratic Party, which won the 2019 elections, and has also unexpectedly changed its position after Veikkaus’ 2022 output, open to discuss a potential opening of the online casino industry,” the article states.

It also talks about how the Finnish online casino experts of Kasinopartio believe that Finland will use Sweden as an important source of inspiration where online gambling has been legal since 2002.

Original story was published by The European Gaming on 31.03.2023.