Finnish parliament approves defence pact with US

by IANS |

 July 2 (IANS) The Finnish parliament has approved the Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) with the US, announced the parliament. According to Finnish national broadcaster Yle, under the agreement, Finland will open 15 of its military bases for potential use by the military forces of the US and will also allow the US to bring defence equipment, supplies, materials, and soldiers to Finland, reports Xinhua news agency. In addition, the agreement will authorize the establishment of certain military zones, which will include facilities accessible only to the personnel of the US. The agreement creates a framework for the activities of the United States and a more permanent presence in Finland, noted Yle. Anna Kontula, a Left Alliance lawmaker, has submitted a proposal calling on legislators to reject the agreement. "Generally, it is not a good idea to allow soldiers and weapons of a foreign country to settle. If this is done, it is usually not wise to give them the free right to operate in the country," Kontula was quoted by Uusi Suomi, a Finnish online news service. The lawmaker emphasised that in the DCA, Finland significantly cedes its sovereignty to a foreign state, according to Uusi Suomi. The negotiations for the DCA started in August 2022, three months after Finland applied for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership. After a total of five rounds of negotiations, the agreement was reached at the end of October 2023. Finland and the US signed the DCA in Washington on December 18, 2023. The Finnish government submitted the proposal for the agreement to the parliament for approval at the end of May 2024.

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