Finland, Zürich, Nato discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist

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Than it seemed ten days ago, probably, but still it is important for many American Macron to confirm his legitimacy if he is reelected. I think there can be any questioning of that. And so he will you will need to compose a majority you need to prepare for the parliamentary elections in June and he'll need to show that he can be the president of a national union that he'll be able to defend all the French people. I think this is where the probably the struggle still lies for him in the next two days. But according, sorry, I'll just adhere to the polls over 60% of people who watch the debate found him more convincing than her. However, thank you so much for joining us on the line from Paris. Still to come on today's program we go through the day's papers. Check in with our team at the Venice Biennale and Matt Wolfe during me to tell us what we should be watching in theater land. Stay with us. UBS has over 900 investment analysts from over 100 different countries. Over 900 of the sharpest minds and freshest thinkers in the world of finance today. To find out how we could help you contact us at UBS dot com. To Finland now, where yesterday the country's parliament debated the possibility of joining NATO. At the same time, its neighbor, Russia, issued a warning of the consequences should either Finland or Sweden seek membership of the military alliance. Or joining me now from Helsinki is Charlie saloni's pasternak, who's a senior research fellow at the Finnish institute of international affairs, and we're also joined from Zürich by Emily Italy, who is a program coordinator for peace mediation at Etihad in Zürich. Good morning to you both. Good morning. Good morning. Very good to have you with us both. Charlie, for can begin with you. What exactly was said yesterday in the finished parliament? Long debate, and of course this was the beginning. The beginning that we'll probably hear from in a little bit. Let me go to Emily where we try and sort out our line. Emily, you were across this as well. So what were the main points made in the parliamentary debate yesterday? So this is, of course, based on the government report that was published last week, which is essentially meant to pave the way for Finland to make a decision on whether or not to apply for NATO. But if you were listening to the various politicians expressing their views yesterday within the parliament it becomes very evident and clear that Finland is indeed on its way to NATO. You didn't really hear any critical voices from any of the ruling parties, even the social Democrats that have been lukewarm to the idea of NATO membership. Traditionally speaking, there is spokesperson for the parliamentary group until inman said that Russia has pushed Finland many steps closer to military alignment and really the only very critical voice I could pick up in the debate was from anno tortilla in and who himself was too radical even for the Finns party and then was expelled from that. So again, there seems to be rather broad consensus on the need to strengthen Finland's defense mechanisms through alignment. I'm delighted to say we have Charlie back. Just listening to that, Charlie. Emily making that very important point that for so long, the lukewarm response to the idea of the lukewarm response to the idea of joining NATO is on the one thing, but on the one hand, but now we have no critical voices at all. Are we looking at a situation where there is now no turning back? I would say there is absolutely no turning back. I agree wholeheartedly with the analysis of yesterday's discussion. So one might ask, why is this being done then? I think it's critical for the democratic consensus building aspect. What's being built now is a speech by speech, a consensus across the political spectrum, and the consensus is needed just in principle, but so that irrespective of any future election results every government will without a doubt stand by this decision for the years to come, but it's also important for the coming months when we're likely to see Russia's reaction to this so that no politician or party feels feels inclined to kind of slip from the united front. Tell me a little bit Emily about how this affects the way that international relations are now formed because for so long we had this example in Finland of a country which maintained dialog, which developed business relations with Moscow. On the understanding that that would keep the peace, how does this change in direction now change the way that the rest of the world approaches international relations? That's a good question and actually I've been approached by colleagues here in Switzerland, where of course neutrality or being military on the line is a key value in Swiss society. So they're curious to find out how is this discussion taking place in Finland? And I think what's interesting from a Finnish perspective when you listen to politicians, they're making the point of Finland hasn't been politically neutral ever since it joined the European Union and then what we've been is militarily none aligned even if we have been part of the partnership for peace. A group within NATO. And now we would very much join a defense alliance. So that has been of key importance to many politicians speaking on this matter. That they see NATO being a defense alliance, not often, and that's the emphasis that they would want to play within NATO if Finland were to join. But of course, for relations with Russia, they will remain crucial for Finn and we do share a border of more than 1300 kilometers. So for any future president of Finland, it will be of utmost importance to maintain some level of dialog with our neighbors to the east, but of course in the immediate when it comes to for instance business.

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