Finnish President, Prime Minister announce support for joining NATO
Saturday, May 14, 2022
After the Soviet Union in the 1940s, successive leaders avoided joining NATO and opted to maintain neutrality. However, public opinion changed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine: in a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister last month, Marin said the nation would decide on whether to apply for NATO membership "within weeks". A poll from this week showed 76% support among Finns for joining the military alliance.and between Finland and the
The joint statement from Niinistö and Marin read in part: "now that the moment of decision-making is near, we state our equal views, also for information to the parliamentary groups and parties. NATO membership would strengthen Finland's security." The two leaders added their hope that "the national steps still needed to make this decision" would be made "rapidly within the next few days".
A reply from Russian read: "Helsinki must be aware of the responsibility and consequences of such a move", and Russia would have to take "retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to stop threats to its national security arising".
The announcement from Niinistö and Marin was made a day after a co-operation agreement was signed that pledged the United Kingdom to defend Finland and Sweden in case either was attacked. In a press conference to announce the deal Wednesday, Niinistö said that Russia was "ready to attack a neighboring country", and that if Russia were to be concerned about Finland joining NATO, he would respond "you caused this, look in the mirror."
The Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, has previously stated the military alliance would welcome both Finland and Sweden, and that he expected an accession to be fast and without complications. Estonian Prime Minister said on Thursday that a Finnish entry into NATO would have Estonia's "full support", adding "we support a rapid accession process.", led by Marin, is likely to announce their position on NATO membership tomorrow. reported the party was "almost certain to favor membership". It would then be possible for Finland to join the alliance as soon as Monday.
- "Finland's president, prime minister back application to join NATO alliance 'without delay'" — , May 12, 2022
- Charlie Duxbury. "Finnish leaders announce backing for NATO membership" — , May 12, 2022
- Government Communications Department, Office of the President of the Republic. "Joint statement by the President of the Republic and Prime Minister of Finland on Finland's NATO membership" — , May 12, 2022
- "Ukraine War: Finland to decide on Nato membership in weeks says PM Marin" — , April 13, 2022