HELSINKI.- Finland made the decision to apply to join NATO, announced this Sunday the president and the prime minister of the Nordic nation, as a direct consequence of the invasion russian to Ukraine.
“It’s a historic day. A new era is dawning”, assured the Finnish president, Sauli Niinistö, together with the prime minister, Sanna Marin, during a press conference in Helsinkithe capital of the country.
Marin stated that he hopes the Finnish Parliament confirms the decision to join the military alliance, although It is estimated that a large majority will support this initiative and that it will only be a formality. Then an official application for membership would be sent to NATO headquarters in Brussels, probably sometime next week.
“In Finland we still have the parliamentary process ahead of us, but I am confident that Parliament will debate this historic decision with determination and responsibility”, added the prime minister.
Finland, which shares a 1300 km border with Russia, it remained non-aligned for 75 years. But after the Kremlin launched the invasion against Ukraine in February, political consensus and public opinion leaned in favor of calling for membership.
The Finnish president and prime minister said on Thursday that they were in favor of joining NATO “without delay”. Meanwhile, on Saturday, the president called his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to inform him that his country was imminently going to ask for adherence to the military pact.
For its part, Russia has already repeatedly warned that there will be consequences if Helsinki joins the Atlantic Alliance.
Security concerns over the war shifted priorities to Finland and for Swedenwhich had advocated neutrality for years, and made other countries with a neutral tradition review what the term means to them.
After Finland expressed their willingness to join NATO, in Sweden stated that they could follow this example after a change of heart in public opinion in both countries.
Nevertheless, Turkey I could still freeze ambitions of these nations. Recep Tayyip Erdoganthe president of that NATO member country, said that “does not have a favorable opinion” about the idea, due to alleged support of the Nordic countries to the Kurdish militiamen and other groups whom Turkey considers terrorists.
AP and AFP Agencies