Finland confesses American deal ‘restricts sovereignty’


(MENAFN) The Finnish Foreign Ministry has announced that a new defense cooperation agreement (DCA) negotiated with the United States will impose limitations on Finland's sovereignty, necessitating a two-thirds majority in the parliament for ratification. The agreement, which was signed last December following Finland's decision to join NATO in April 2023, grants the American military access to 15 bases in Finland and permits the deployment of military equipment and supplies on Finnish territory. Additionally, it allows for the free movement of United States aircraft, ships, and vehicles, along with providing special legal protections for United States military personnel and facilities.

A working group led by the Foreign Ministry has been tasked with drafting the ratification protocols for the DCA, which were formally submitted to the Finnish parliament for consideration. The ministry emphasized that due to the agreement's implications for national sovereignty, parliamentary approval would require a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.

Members of parliament have until May 12 to review and provide comments on the draft proposal.

The announcement of the DCA sparked discussions regarding its potential impact on Finnish security and sovereignty. Finnish Defense Minister Antti Hakkanen previously characterized the agreement as a safeguard, ensuring protection from the world's largest military power.

However, concerns have been raised about the extent to which the agreement may limit Finland's ability to independently determine its defense and foreign policy decisions.

The DCA represents a significant shift in Finland's defense strategy, marking a departure from its longstanding policy of neutrality. The decision to pursue closer military cooperation with the United States underscores Finland's evolving security priorities in the face of regional and global security challenges. As the parliament deliberates on the ratification of the agreement, debates are expected to intensify over the balance between security interests and national sovereignty in Finnish foreign policy.

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