Finland’s Left Alliance announced on Saturday (May 7) that even if the nation seeks NATO inclusion, it will remain in Prime Minister Sanna Marin-led administration. The statement came after the party’s national leadership and parliamentary caucus met on Saturday. Theoretically, the party opposes Finland’s membership in the US-led military bloc. In the past, the Left Alliance has repeatedly stated that Finland must remain independent of military alliances.

But, the Left Alliance party head Li Andersson stated that the party will support its cabinet ministers in supporting a NATO bid if one is submitted by the top-level leaders. Andersson believes it is critical to stress that people of the Left Alliance may both criticize and embrace NATO. “On this topic [Finnish NATO membership], the Left Alliance used to be pretty united,” Andersson remarked, “but today there are two separate camps inside the party, and many are uncertain of their position.”

On Saturday, the party’s debates highlighted the importance of continuing to strive for world peace while backing measures that promote civil liberties if Finland seeks NATO inclusion. When asked about the benefits of NATO accession, Andersson pointed out that while the EU provided certain security assurances, European defense collaboration is not comparable to that between NATO nations. “Negative elements relate to participation heightening political and military tensions on Finland’s eastern border,” Andersson warned, adding that she will explain her individual view on NATO inclusion the week after.

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