Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement that Finland should apply “immediately” to join NATO. Both stressed that “membership in NATO will enhance Finland’s security, and as a member of NATO, Finland will strengthen the entire alliance.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin issued a joint statement Thursday on the country’s future in the alliance. “Finland should apply for NATO membership without delay,” they said. Politicians expressed their hope that “the internal steps that are still necessary to take this decision will be taken in the coming days.” Both stressed that “membership in NATO will enhance Finland’s security, and as a member of NATO, Finland will strengthen the entire alliance.”
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Following the announcement by the President and Prime Minister on Thursday, the process of Finland’s accession to NATO will be accelerated. It is likely that the government will formally decide on Sunday to apply for membership, and Parliament is due to deal with it on Monday.
Following a statement by Finnish politicians, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen tweeted that her country “would be delighted to welcome Finland into NATO”. “This alliance will strengthen our common security. Denmark will do whatever it takes to speed up the adoption process.” [Finlandii do NATO-red.]”Once an official application is made,” she said.
More and more Finns are in favor of joining NATO
Reuters wrote that Finland, which shares a 1,300 km border with Russia, has gradually strengthened its partnership with NATO since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The agency stressed, however, that until the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Finns refrained from formally joining NATO from In order to maintain good relations with their eastern neighbor. After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the attitude of the Finns towards NATO has radically changed, and the country’s accession to the alliance – according to recent opinion polls – is already supported by about 75 percent. Citizens (previously only about 20-25% years ago supported this move).
According to the head of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Becky Haavisto, Finland’s application to join NATO could be officially approved by allied members within about four months. “We can become a member of NATO in October,” Haavisto said in an interview with the daily Tasanomat. The Finnish authorities are trying to submit an official application to join Sweden, which would be the best solution due to geopolitical factors. According to local newspapers, it is scheduled to take place next May.
At the end of April, NATO President Jens Stoltenberg said that if Finland and Sweden applied to join NATO, they could count on “the process going quickly.”
Main image source: Anders Weklund/EPA/PAP
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