The standing ovation surrounding Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s answer to a journalist’s question in Kiev about fighter jets is not a very funny story. This can largely be attributed to the leading Finnish media. It’s about an odd spin, an opinion that the Finnish Armed Forces Network’s information director, Thomas Polsa, has put forward privately on social media. One can only speculate about the motives behind this, but now the election campaign is in full swing as is the motive.
Ministers Marin and Maria Uysalo paid a surprise visit to Kiev on Friday at the invitation of President Volodymyr Zelensky. But it was no more secret than the presence of a relatively large group of Finnish journalists. The alert journalist at STT may have guessed correctly what Zelensky and Marin’s discussions might be about.
Recently, President Zelensky has been very aggressively pushing Ukraine’s partners to supply combat aircraft. Some time ago, he visited London and other capitals and presented the helmet of a Ukrainian fighter pilot as a gift to the Speakers of Parliament. It seems only natural that Zelensky would discuss this matter with Marin now. The concrete content of the conversation is unknown.
STT journalist Jecaterina Mantsinen commented on the matter. She was the one who asked Marine the question about fighter jets and was surprised by the uproar caused by the prime minister’s response. She replied that the matter could be discussed. He did not raise the issue himself and did not promise anything.
Perhaps it was Marin’s fault for responding at all. The classic advice for decision-makers on how to deal with ex-journalists is this: Don’t answer questions directly. make a statement.
Or was it wrong? Could you have avoided the trap if you had not answered? Of course not, because the topic is very topical and the silence was immediately interpreted by journalists as evidence that something was “shady” here and that discussions about the Hornet plan were under way. An impossible seat for her when journalists and other media decided to shoot.
The media spin has led to a completely wrong picture of the Finnish Prime Minister’s attitude towards the Air Force and its central role in Finnish defence. What a discussion about what to do with the Hornets after they are “retired” and what this might lead to, the prime minister said absolutely nothing, not to mention that now they can give combat planes to Ukraine. Newspapers and media committed to responsible journalism should be ashamed and stand up to such misinformation.
After Marin took over as prime minister from Anti-Rhine, there were concerns in some quarters that she might not live up to his pledge of ten billion euros to buy the battle plan. So I was asked if Rinne’s commitment was valid. The Prime Minister answered with a counter question. “Have new reasons emerged why we should change this decision?”
The Marine Corps’ strong and decisive support for Finland’s NATO membership is a chapter in itself. All in all, it can be said that Finland now has a quartet of competence, unique determination and wisdom to run the country’s security: the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense and the Commander of the Armed Forces, who together radiate firmness and calm in the stormy international arena.
Stefan Force, Espoo
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