In their opinion, membership in NATO will strengthen the security of Finland, and the country, in turn, will strengthen the alliance. An application for NATO membership must be submitted immediately, they believe “The Prime Minister and the President of Finland urged to urgently apply to NATO” />
Sanna Marin (left) and Sauli Niinistö
Why Finland decided to join NATO
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that Finland should immediately apply for NATO membership, their joint statement was published on the website of the State Council of the country.
“Membership in NATO will strengthen the security of Finland. By becoming a member of NATO, Finland will strengthen the entire defense alliance. Finland must immediately apply for NATO membership. We hope that the steps at the national level necessary to implement this decision will be quickly taken in the coming days, — said the president and the prime minister.
Ninisto and Marin explained that it took time to form an agreed position on the issue of joining NATO in parliament and society, as well as to discuss with the alliance and Sweden, which also intends to join it, it took time .
The reasons that prompted Finland to change the policy of not joining military alliances were explained on Thursday by Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto during a speech at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (broadcast was conducted on the website). The hostilities launched by Russia endangered the stability of the whole of Europe, Minister Haavisto said. According to him, since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine on February 24, the question of how the events will affect the country's security has been raised in Finland. Helsinki identified five problems that the country had to face. “First of all, it must be mentioned that the unpredictable behavior of Russia— this is an inevitable problem. Russia is ready to carry out very risky operations for itself, which will lead to grave consequences for Russia. Secondly, Russia's persistent readiness to put pressure on its neighbors through the deployment of forces, and thirdly, the widespread talk about the use of chemical and nuclear weapons, even if the use of such weapons is prohibited by international agreements, — Haavisto said. Fourthly, Russia does not comply with the rules of warfare, the head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry continued. “We have seen several cases of war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention. This is very important and should be investigated. Fifth, we need to emphasize that the European security architecture does not work in such conditions. Russia does not respect the rules of the UN, — he concluded.
What is the support for joining NATO
At the end of March, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat conducted a poll, according to which 61% of Finns believe that Finland should join the alliance, 16%— against, 23% found it difficult to answer. May 11 “for” 73% of respondents have already spoken.
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When Finland becomes the 31st member of NATO
Reuters, citing sources, previously reported that NATO is expecting applications for membership in the alliance from Finland and Sweden in the coming days. According to the interlocutors of the agency, they will be quickly approved, since the Russian operation forces “a radical rethink of the European security system.”
The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, in turn, wrote that the announcement by the Finnish president of his position on May 12 ;Official confirmation of the readiness of Helsinki” join NATO.
The Swedish edition of Expressen, citing sources, said that Stockholm intends to apply for NATO membership on Monday. According to him, an additional meeting of the government will be held that day, at which a final decision will be made. An application is planned to be submitted immediately after that.
Now Finland and Helsinki have the status of NATO partner states.
Russia warned the states about the worsening of the security situation in the event of joining the alliance. Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, noted that in this case, the length of NATO's land borders with Russia would more than double. “Naturally, these borders will have to be strengthened. Seriously strengthen the grouping of ground forces and air defense, deploy significant naval forces in the waters of the Gulf of Finland, — he explained, adding that in the end “there will no longer be any talk of any non-nuclear status of the Baltic” balance must be restored.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in turn, stated that the raison d'être of NATO is geopolitical confrontation with Russia, therefore, if Finland and Sweden become members of the alliance, they will also become a space of confrontation.
What are the defensive forces of Finland
In 2021, according to official data, 19,781 servicemen were serving in the military, of which 883 were women.
Defence spending has been growing over the past 30 years. In 2021, they reached €5 billion.
In 1994, Finland began cooperation with NATO under the Partnership for Peace program. Since then, the country's defense forces have been developing according to the standards of the alliance.
The possibility of applying for NATO membership first appeared in a report on security and defense policy in 2004, in 2007 the government program first said that Finland «retains the right to apply to NATO».
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