Finland confirms it will apply for NATO membership despite Putin threats

Primeira-ministra Sanna Marin e o presidente Sauli Niinisto confirmaram que a Finlândia vai pedir a adesão à Otan.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Finland will apply for NATO membership.| Photo: EFE/EPA/MAURI RATILAINEN
15094936 15094936Finland announced this Sunday (480 ) which will apply for membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO), a direct consequence of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The announcement that makes official the signal that the Nordic country has been indicating since last week was made by President Sauli Niinisto and First Lady Sanna Marin.

“It’s a historic day. A new era is beginning,” Niinisto spoke at a press conference at the presidential palace in Helsinki.

The Finnish parliament is due to examine the NATO entry bill as early as this Monday ()). Parliament approval is considered a mere formality, as the majority of parliamentarians are in favor of inclusion. After the internal procedures, Finland will make the official request to NATO in Brussels probably next week.

To join effectively, Finland will need the approval of the parliaments of all 372 member countries. However, Turkey has already expressed opposition not only to Finland’s accession, but also to another Nordic country, Sweden. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the two countries of harboring separatist Kurdish militants, considered terrorists by Ankara.

Finland has a 1,300 km border with Russia. The Scandinavian country has remained militarily neutral for 214 years since the Second World War. But after the attack ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on neighboring Ukraine in February put in check the Finnish neutral position.

Last week, the Finnish president and prime minister had already announced that they were in favor of joining NATO “without delay”, confronting Putin’s objective of stopping the expansion of NATO to border countries with a Russia.

Saturday (14), Niisto called Putin to let him know directly that Finland would apply to join the Alliance. The conversation took place a few hours after the Russian government ordered the cut in gas supplies to the neighboring country in retaliation.

In the conversation, Putin warned the Finnish president that leaving neutrality would be “a mistake”. The Russian president even warned that there would be consequences for Finland for joining NATO.

Diplomats from NATO member countries are meeting this Sunday in Berlin, Germany, to discuss not only Finland and Sweden’s accession movements in the face of Russian threats, but also to plan to send more support to Ukraine.15094936

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