Finland is just days away from applying for NATO membership
HELSINKI, Finland — After completing a few more steps, Finland will be ready to send its application to join the NATO military alliance, the country’s foreign affairs minister told CNBC Tuesday.
It Nordic nation has been considering joining the allianceIn the aftermath of Russia’s invasion unprovoked of Ukraine. Sanna Marin from Finland, the Prime Minister of Finland, previously stated that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “changed the security situation so much that it is impossible to go back to where they were.”
The joining NATO would be a radical change in Finland’s long-standing policy of neutrality. However, it could also lead to backlash from Russia. Vladimir PutinHas been outspoken in his opposition to NATO expansion.
“When all our political parties are ready — and the latest, the Social Democrats on Saturday — then we are ready to move as [a]Next Monday, the Parliament will begin to discuss NATO membership. “But then, after that we are ready to send an applicant,” Pekka Havisto (Finnish minister for foreign affairs) said.
Finland’s current government is a five party coalition. The Finnish President, Sauli Niinisto will announce Thursday his opinions on Finland’s NATO membership. This is the beginning of a series of events which should lead to the formal submission.
Finland isn’t the only one reevaluating its security strategy. The stance of Sweden, its neighbor to the north has been reviewed in light of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
“I am so grateful for you.” [Finland and Sweden]It looks like we are joining together, and it now appears that there is a parallel process which could end similarly,” Haavisto said to CNBC. He also stated that Sweden will likely send its NATO application “around same time” as Finland.
Sweden and Sweden have excellent cooperation in military matters. We can actually have common surveillance over our airspaces and our maritime zones, which we rely on very heavily. [on] each other, and of course, if it so happens in the future that one is in the … defense alliance and the other one is not — that might hamper also our good cooperation,” he said about the reasoning behind applying at the same time.
Numerous NATO member countries, including the United States and Germany, indicated that they were ready to offer security guarantees for Stockholm and Helsinki in the time period between the official application and their formal membership.
Both countries will need to apply for NATO membership before joining the alliance. A process that is likely to take at least some months.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke out in favor of a minimum delay for applicants.
Finland will be hoping for some promises from the alliance in the meantime at the summit scheduled to take place June in Madrid, Spain.
Haavisto stated that Madrid was very important to political commitments as well as, at the highest level of government, for welcoming new members like Sweden and Finland.
He said, “But even before that, NATO Council will certainly discuss this matter. We are also expecting single NATO member countries to give their commitments or opinions immediately when Finland/Sweden will submit an application.”