Finnish Foreign Minister Haavisto: application to NATO can be submitted next week The application to NATO will be submitted next week if the parliament approves it, the minister said. According to him, Russia is an important neighbor. Earlier, Helsinki and London agreed on mutual military assistance in the attack “The Finnish Foreign Ministry has allowed the application to NATO in the middle of next week” />
Finland will apply for NATO membership in the middle of next week, if it is approved by the Parliament (eduskunta), Foreign Minister Pekko Haavisto said in an interview Japanese edition of NHK.
“Sweden is also considering [applying to NATO] within the same time frame,”— minister added.
According to Haavisto, Finland wants peace near its borders, but is able to “answer everything that happens” and preparations are underway for this. “I don't think there will be chaos, but you have to be ready for it,” — he emphasized. Russia— an important neighbor for Finland, the minister added, but relations with it have recently become more complicated.
The head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry earlier explained the reasons for Helsinki's change in the policy of non-joining military blocs during a speech in the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament. He said that the hostilities launched by Russia created a danger to the stability of the whole of Europe. According to Haavisto, Moscow does not respect UN rules.
At the end of March, the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat conducted a poll, according to which 61% of the inhabitants of Finland supported joining NATO, 16% were against it, and 23% found it difficult to answer. In the middle of May, the “for” option already chosen by 73% of the surveyed Finns.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin earlier called for an immediate application to NATO. “We hope that the steps at the national level necessary to implement this decision will be quickly taken in the coming days,” according to their joint statement released on May 12.
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Against this background, Great Britain and Finland agreed to provide mutual assistance if one of the parties is attacked or suffers from a natural disaster. The assistance mechanism will be activated at the request of the affected party, the agreement also provides for the use of “military means”. Helsinki and London noted that this agreement would complement rather than replace existing cooperation.
The Kremlin assessed the likely entry of Finland into NATO as a threat to Russia. Moscow will make decisions on further actions based on what the “expansion process” will be expressed in, said Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the head of state. “NATO is moving in our direction. Therefore, of course, all this will become elements for a special analysis and the development of the necessary measures in order to balance the situation and ensure our security, — he said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that Finland's accession to NATO would damage relations between the two countries. “Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature,” — the ministry said in a statement. If NATO units are deployed on Swedish or Finnish territory, both will become “a target or a possible target for a strike,” Dmitry Polyansky, First Deputy Representative of Russia to the UN, admitted. He also added that Helsinki and Stockholm had been living with Moscow for decades “normally, like good neighbors.”
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