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King of Sweden grants audience to Finland’s Speaker of Parliament

King Carl XVI Gustaf has given an audience to the Speaker of the Finnish Parliament, Matti Vanhanen, who was in Sweden on an official visit.

The Speaker of Finland has been invited to Sweden by the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament, Andreas Norlén.

During the visit to Sweden, the Speaker has also met with members from the Swedish Foreign Affairs Committee, the Defence Committee, the Swedish delegation to the Nordic Council and the Swedish-Finnish Parliamentary Friendship Association.

The conversation between the Finnish politician and the Swedish monarch was about the precarious military situation in Europe. Finland and Sweden have recently decided to strengthen cooperation with NATO so that they will have better access to information under the current security situation. The two countries are not members of NATO, but they are both members of the European Union.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many non-NATO European nations have strengthened their cooperation. This also applies to the two northern European neighbours of Sweden and Finland.

The King of Sweden was keen to confirm his support for the continued cooperation between Finland and Sweden and the close connection between their people. Today, 712,000 of Finland’s population identify themselves as Swedish-Finns and speak Swedish as their mother tongue in Finland.

The Swedish Royal Family has already shown its support for people in Ukraine following the Russian invasion with both direct and indirect messages and an increased focus on how Sweden must react and change as a neutral state in Europe.

The Swedish King has strongly condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine. King Carl Gustaf did this in full military uniform during a visit to a regiment in Karlsborg on 7 March. The King said: “Europe is in an extremely difficult situation. More difficult than in a very long time. The Russian Federation has invaded Ukraine. This is contrary to international law and puts fundamental freedoms and rights out of play. The humanitarian catastrophe is a fact. People are fleeing their homes and their country. Families are divided. Innocent people die.”

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.