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TASR
Martin Adam Pavlík
May 12, 2022, 10:22am
Reading time: 1:36

Finnish President And Prime Minister Officially Announced Support For Joining NATO.

They believe necessary steps will be taken in the following days. A joint announcement was issued on Thursday the 12th of April.

TASR
Martin Adam Pavlík
May 12, 2022, 10:22am
Reading time: 1:36
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Finnish President And Prime Minister Officially Announced Support For Joining NATO.
Zdroj: NATO Newsroom
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Finland and Sweden could already join NATO this year in summer. The need for stronger protection was awakened by Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has subsequently warned Sweden and Finland not to join NATO and threatened them with consequences. On Thursday, Finnish president Sauli Niinistö and prime minister Sanna Marin released a joint statement where they officially announced that they support their country in joining NATO.  

"NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen this whole alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership without further delay. We believe necessary steps on state level assuring this decision is made will be taken in the following days," is stated in the joint statement of the president and prime minister, posted on the president's website.


As explained by AP Agency, this announcement means that Finland will almost certainly apply for a NATO membership although some further steps will be required. Sweden is due to announce their decision regarding joining the Alliance in the next few days. 

 

The highest representatives of Finland have explained in their joint statement that public discussion in their country about a possible entry into the North Atlantic Alliance happened this spring, but some time was necessary for the government and the whole society to clarify their stance towards this question. 

They did not directly name Russia as a threat in the statement, but during the visit of British Prime minister on Wednesday - after the signing of UK-Finnish agreement on security guarantees - Niinistö announced that Russian president Vladimir Putin is the reason behind Finland's move towards the North Atlantic Alliance. 


Finland and Sweden have maintained neutrality during the Cold War to avoid provoking the Soviet Union. Finland has an over 1 300 kilometres long border with Russia. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitrij Peskov has warned some time ago that upon Finland's alliance with NATO, Russia will respond with measures to "balance the situation". 

 

Finnish expert from the Centre for new American safety in Washington, Heli Hautal, has stated for AP Agency that a significant part of Russian units which were originally placed at the Finnish border are currently in Ukraine, where they suffered significant losses. 

She therefore expects that Moscow will react to this Finnish decision by placing weapons systems closer to Finnish borders, by a disinformation campaign, cyber attacks, economic measures and directing migration flows towards Finland, similarly to last year's Belorussian response to Poland. 

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