Mykkänen: Finland’s mission to strengthen NATO’s common defence


The National Coalition Party’s group speech in Parliament of Finland 17.5.2022 , MP Kai Mykkänen

Honorable speaker,

“The beginning of all wisdom is the acknowledgement of facts.” President J.K. Paasikivi used these words to describe foreign affairs on Independence Day in 1944, a few months after the end of the Continuation War.

Today, the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs considers it a fact that no union Between states, which do not belong to NATO, is sufficiently strong. Independent agreements with the Member States of NATO would in times of international war be superseded by such Member States’ commitments towards NATO countries.  I believe that President Paasikivi would also have favoured the acknowledgement of facts in today’s foreign affairs environment.

Dear colleagues, Finnish people, in case of a problematic situation, we need a first-class defence commitment; second class promises are not enough.

Honorable speaker,

In February, Russia set out on an unfathomable, horrendous and uncontrollable path. Russia’s choices and next moves have been impossible to understand and control based on the logic that we have aimed to predict them with.

We lost faith in being able to control our Russia-related risk solely by diplomacy and national defence. We must maximise the military threshold to minimise the threat of an unpredictable reaction. Therefore, most Finns set out to support joining NATO immediately after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Ärade talman,

Säkerheten – eller brist på den – är odelad vid Bottniska vikens kuster. Vår närmaste partner är Sverige. Vi förstärker varandra i denna historiska stund då vi tar ett steg till Natomedlemskap hand i hand. Sveriges sak är vår. Och det är viktigt för oss att Finlands sak är också Sveriges.

The President of the Republic of Finland refers to a stronghold of the Nordic countries.  NATO membership does not close but opens doors to European defence cooperation. The stronghold of the Nordic countries borders in the south with Germany’s strengthening defence capacity. It is vital to keep Britain included. Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership strengthens the European pillar in NATO. In the end, it is also the best way of keeping the Americans interested in Europe.

Honorable speaker,

While working in Russia, my understanding grew that Russia’s perception of European nations is not solely about who is part of NATO and who isn’t. The attitude is more complex.

It is Russia’s choice whether it continues to violate justice and human dignity. It shall then be judged for a reason. But, at the same time, there is space for various paths in terms of how we consider each other in neighbouring state matters. In conclusion, while we make our own solutions from the starting points of our own security, we do not move against anyone but instead in favour of security; I repeat: 

Сегодня мы принимаем решение не против кого-либо, а только ради безопасности Финляндии.

Honorable speaker,

Today’s historical vote is not the end of something but a start of something new.

We have prepared for this day with exceptionally good cooperation over government and opposition lines. Today, the National Coalition Party offers hand of cooperation for the ratification period. Each one of us can promote each’s own European sister parties’ understanding of the purpose why we aim to join NATO. Finland is not joining NATO to consume passive security. We wish to actively strengthen the common security of NATO countries. It is expressed here too:

Our mission is to participate in strengthening NATO’s common defence, not to consume the security of our allies.

Today we open the door to a stronger Baltic Sea and the security of Nordic countries. Above all, we open a door for Finnish people to a Western union of jointly guaranteed security.

When there are cracks in security, its importance is highlighted. Finns have decided to fill that crack.

As is the case for many others, both of my grandfathers have fought in our wars for the independence of Finland. Honour to the sacrifices of their generation. For that sacrifice, the courage to speak out rose first in their frontline: never alone again!