Jussi Niinistö (BR), the Minister of Defence, has reiterated his desire to prevent dual citizens from advancing to senior military positions in Finland.
“We must be able to trust those appointed to key positions at the armed forces one hundred per cent. These people must also be one hundred per cent loyal to Finland,” he stated in his speech at the opening ceremony of the National Defence Course on Monday.
Niinistö has already begun the legislative work to prevent dual citizens from advancing to at least the most senior military positions at the Finnish Defence Forces. The legislative revisions, he argued, should be adopted as soon as possible as they have been designed to guarantee the internal security of the Defence Administration.
He also cited national security as grounds for adopting the new intelligence laws that would grant authorities greater powers to sift through network traffic, arguing that the laws are necessary due to changes in the security environment and the heightened importance of intelligence.
“When we’re dealing with national security, responsible decision makers must tear down the artificial barrier between the government and the opposition,” told Niinistö.
“The objective of the military intelligence laws is clearly to prevent external threats, even though some rumour factories have created an image of intelligence nerds prying into the e-mails of citizens,” he said in a relatively undisguised quibble intended towards Helsingin Sanomat.
Niinistö also drew attention to a third important ongoing legislative project, the project to restrict the ownership and control of land areas and real estate in Finland.
“Infiltrating into the vicinity of critical societal targets is one possible way to support hybrid influence campaigns. These targets naturally include military areas but from a comprehensive security perspective also other functions, such as the production and supply of heat, electricity and water,” he listed.