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Alexander Stubb, representing the center-right National Coalition Party, emerged victorious in Finland’s presidential election, narrowly defeating liberal Green Party member Pekka Haavisto. Stubb, a pro-European politician known for his strong support of Ukraine and tough stance towards Russia, secured 51.6% of the votes in the run-off against Haavisto’s 48.4%.

Stubb’s Vision and Response to Victory

In his televised remarks following the announcement of his victory, Stubb expressed gratitude and humility, describing the win as “the greatest honor” of his life. He emphasized his commitment to serving as the president of the Republic of Finland, acknowledging the responsibility of overseeing the country’s security and foreign policy.

Transition of Leadership and Policy Outlook

Stubb’s victory marks a transition in Finnish leadership, succeeding outgoing president Sauli Niinisto. Niinisto, known as “the Putin Whisperer” for his previous diplomatic ties with the Russian leader, served two consecutive six-year terms. With Finland’s recent accession to NATO in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, Stubb’s presidency signifies a shift towards a more assertive stance on security and foreign policy.

Role in NATO and Finland’s Security

As Finland now operates under NATO’s security umbrella, Stubb will play a pivotal role in defining the country’s NATO policies. He will collaborate closely with the government on overall foreign and security matters and serve as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

International Reactions and Domestic Expectations

Stubb’s victory has garnered attention internationally, with Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson extending warm congratulations. Domestically, Finnish voters, like 36-year-old IT worker Lauri from Helsinki, recognize the pressing task of managing relations with Russia as a top priority for the new president.

Overall, Alexander Stubb’s presidency marks a significant chapter in Finland’s diplomatic landscape, signaling a departure from traditional neutrality towards a more proactive engagement with international security alliances.