The Minister of European Affairs of the Republic of Finland Tytti Tuppurainen, who is on an official visit to Zagreb, told HRT today that they were somewhat surprised by the position of Croatian President Zoran Milanović on Finland's accession to NATO, but that they understood Croatia's concerns, adding that efforts should be stepped up to find a solution to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law reform.
In an interview for HRT News Tytti Tuppurainen was asked, among other things, whether the Finnish leadership and the public were surprised by President Zoran Milanović's stance, which linked changes to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law to Finland's entry into NATO.
“We were somewhat surprised. Of course, some citizens might be confused because it should be acknowledged that these are two completely separate issues,” she said.
“But we understand the concerns expressed by Croatia regarding the reform of the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I talked about this today with my colleagues in Croatia and I think we need to step up efforts to reach a solution to the reform of the election law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Tuppurainen.
She said Finland supports the efforts of the EU, the US and other international actors to reach a good solution.
"I hope we can overcome the objections raised by Turkey."
Among other things, Tuppurainen pointed out that Finland and NATO have been close partners for many years. She added that Finland has been a member of the EU since 1995 and that joining NATO is a very logical step.
"We hope we can start the real accession process soon and we want a quick ratification," she said.
Tuppurainen said that Finland would bring certain values to NATO, not only to receive, but also to provide means, or security for the entire alliance, including Turkey, which expressed opposition to Finland's entry.
"I hope we can overcome these objections raised by Turkey," said Tuppurainen, adding that they were willing to open a dialogue.
Tuppurainen said that the war in Ukraine is a war that is going to exhaustion.
“We must remain vigilant and we must constantly pay attention to this Ukrainian situation. We must help them win this war and we must not allow Putin to prevail and thus set a very dangerous precedent in which you can do whatever you want with military force. That is completely unacceptable and we must continue to support Ukraine in every way,” she said.
On Croatia's entry into Schengen and the Eurozone
Among other things, Tuppurainen said that Finland supports Croatia's efforts to enter the Schengen area.
“We are in favor of that, we have noted that Croatia has met all the necessary criteria and we will soon formalize our final position in the next few weeks. We will be happy to welcome Croatia to the Schengen area,” she said.
Tuppurainen also expressed confidence that the euro would be a good thing for Croatian citizens and would stabilize the Croatian economy.
Tuppurainen also said that she appreciated Croatia's work and commitment in the EU and that Croatia had an excellent presidency of the Union.
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