Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, says the Finnish parliament will decide whether to apply to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) within weeks. During a joint press conference with Sweden’s Prime Minister, she said that she saw no reason to delay the decision. However, her remarks overlapped with a report to the parliament that said membership in the organization could result in intensified tensions on the Russian and Finland border.
Sanna Marin, the Prime Minister of Finland, says that her country will decide whether to send a request to join NATO within the next few weeks. On the other hand, Russia warned Finland and Sweden to join the NATO alliance, arguing the likely move would bring instability to Europe pic.twitter.com/Je0DfQXD4l
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In recent weeks, Russia warned Sweden and Finland against joining NATO. Sweden and Finland are regimentally non-aligned, but Russian aggression in Ukraine drove intensifying public support to become members of the Western defensive bloc. Eva Magdalena Andersson, the Prime Minister of Sweden, told reporters that the same analysis was taking place in Finland, and she finds no point in delaying it.
On Wednesday, the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reported that Andersson intended to apply for membership in time for a NATO summit in late June. Finland shares a 1340 kilometers border with Russia. Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson of Moscow, stressed that Kremlin would have to rebalance the situation with its own moves if the NATO bid went ahead.
Moscow Warns Finland and Sweden against NATO Membership
Russia warned Sweden and Finland against attaining NATO membership, arguing the move wouldn’t bring stability to Europe. Peskov told reporters that NATO remains a tool generated towards conflict. It comes as United States defense officials said the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a massive strategic blunder that is probably to bring alliance enlargement.
American officials expect the Nordic (geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic) neighbors to bid for membership of the bloc, possibly as early as June. In addition, the U.S. is likely to support the move, seeing the Western alliance grow to thirty-two members. Last week, the State Department officials said that talks took place between NATO leaders and foreign ministers from Stockholm and Helsinki.
Before it initiated its attack, Moscow demanded that the organization agree to stop any future enlargement, but the war led to the deployment of additional NATO troops on its eastern flank and a surge in public support for Finnish and Swedish membership. This week, Finnish Parliamentarians will likely receive a security report from intelligence officials. Prime Minister Sanna Marin expressed that she expects her administration will end the discussion before midsummer on whether to request membership.
Swedish ruling Social Democratic party said that it is reconsidering this position in light of the Russian attack on its western neighbor. During a press talk, party secretary Tobias Baudin noted that the decision about NATO membership should be complete within the next few months. NATO alliance was established in 1949 to counter the threat of Soviet expansion. Member states agree to come to one another’s assistance in the event of a military attack against any individual member state.