THE REMARKS of Mika Aaltola, the director of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, about splitting up the Finnish and Swedish bids to join Nato will be addressed in the next meeting of the advisory council responsible for monitoring the operations of the institute.
Saara-Sofia Sirén, the vice chairperson of the council, told about the decision to MTV on Wednesday.
“The Finnish Institute of International Affairs is tasked with providing research information to decision makers. The intention is not that the leadership and researchers of the institute try to influence Finland’s foreign policy,” she commented.
Aaltola on Wednesday viewed on Twitter that Finland should indicate its readiness to separate the two membership applications, following his recent visit to Turkey with Henri Vanhanen, a research fellow at the Institute of International Affairs. Their discussions with officials, researchers and policy makers in the country who are familiar with the ratification process, he explained, indicate that Finland, but not Sweden, is perceived as Nato ready.
“Finland should communicate its ability to separate the applications because they’re politically tied to one another,” he tweeted.
He commented on the issue also in an interview with Ilta-Sanomat.
Sirén highlighted to MTV that the visit took place at a particularly critical stage of the application process, with national debates about the applications regularly drawing worldwide attention.
She also underlined that the research institute carries out valuable work that supports political decision making.
“At the same time, you have to keep in mind that the Finnish constitution stipulates that foreign policy is led by the president of the republic in co-operation with the government. The Institute of International Affairs operates under the Parliament,” she stated.
The advisory council is tasked with monitoring the operations of the institute, liaising with relevant stakeholders and monitoring the societal impact of work undertaken at the institute.
Erkki Tuomioja (SDP), a deputy chairperson of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, on Wednesday expressed his exasperation with researchers who, in his view, seek to shape opinions and policy making in pursuit of a particular agenda.
“I’m pretty fed up with it,” he stated to YLE. “I hope the Institute of International Affairs provided us more research information and options and analyses of the consequences, rather than mere opinions.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: helsinki times