The government report has been prepared under the close guidance of the president and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy.

President Sauli Niinistö. Photograph: TONY ÖHBERG/FINLAND TODAY

A report on changes in the security environment has been published on Wednesday, the president’s office notes in a statement. “The preparatory work for the report began after I requested an assessment of Finland’s security policy options and the risks and benefits associated with them,” President Sauli Niinistö says in the statement. “Important security policy decisions require thorough analysis and a shared picture of the current situation.”

The publication of the report launches a parliamentary phase, during which Parliament will discuss the content, which basically evaluates the benefits and dangers of joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.

“Now we must set a clear course for Finland’s direction. This is a matter of Finland’s own security. It is without detriment to anyone,” President Niinistö says. “I will also at this stage continue my active dialogue with the key committees of Parliament and the chairs of the parties elected to Parliament.”

Later in an interview with Finnish tabloid Helsingin Sanomat, President Niinistö estimated that the decision on whether Finland will join NATO will be made before summer.

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