NATO Receives Application from Finland to Join
The country will be ditching decades of neutrality despite Russia's threats of retaliation...
Wartime neutrality is no more with Finland as today its government announced its application to join NATO. The announcement comes after the country ignored Putin’s threats of retaliation in response to attempts of strengthening security. President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin made the announcement during a joint press conference.
"We hope that the parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership. During the coming days. It will be based on a strong mandate, from the President of the Republic. We have been in close contact with the governments of NATO member states and NATO itself. We are close partners to NATO but it is a historic decision that we will join NATO and hopefully, we are making the decisions together.”
The finalization of legislatures can take months as all current members of NATO must approve new applicants. The move also risks provoking Russia as Putin told Sauli Niinistö that it would be a “mistake.” Yesterday, Russia cut its electricity supply to the country after Finland failed to pay Russia for the supply. Finland was invaded by the Soviet Union during World War 2 and has been militarily non-aligned and nominally neutral in order to avoid provoking Russian offenses.
"The Russian demands in late 2021 aiming at preventing countries from joining NATO and Russia's massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 have altered the security environment of Finland.”
Sauli Niinistö said to Putin as he informed him of Finland’s intentions.
"We wouldn't make these decisions that we are making now if we didn't think that they are enhancing our strength or security. So of course we believe these are the right decisions and they will these decisions will enhance our national security."
Prime Minister Marin added during the press conference today.
Finland and the soon-to-move Sweden meet all the criteria needed to join NATO. Countries must have:
A functioning democratic political system based on a market economy
Treating minority populations fairly
Committing to resolving conflicts peacefully
The ability and willingness to make a military contribution to NATO operations
Committing to democratic civil-military relations and institutions.
Currently, Turkey is the only worry in giving trouble with Finland’s and Sweden’s joining of NATO. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Friday he is not looking at Finland and Sweden joining NATO "positively," accusing both counties of housing Kurdish "terrorist organizations."
"I thanked him and he was very pleased to receive my fax. So you got to understand that I'm a bit confused. I think that what we need now is a very clear answer. I'm prepared to have a new discussion with President Erdogan about the problems he has raised.”
Sauli Niinistö said in response of Erdogan’s comments.
Putin’s main concern was that NATO was advancing at such an irate pace eastward towards Russia. The irony is that the war in Ukraine has given NATO more of a mission and has increased the possibility of countries joining. In Finland, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the public support for joining NATO leaped nearly 30%-80% (in some polls). In Sweden, opinion polls also show public support.
"This will necessitate certain military-technical measures like improving or raising the degree of defense preparations along the Finish border."
Vladimir Chizhov, Russian Ambassador to the European Union, said.