Home World News Finland on track to join NATO, despite Russia’s reluctance

Finland on track to join NATO, despite Russia’s reluctance

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Finland soon to be a NATO member? Its president and its Prime Minister have in any case issued a favorable opinion on membership ” without delay “ from the Nordic country to the intergovernmental organization, in a huge step towards a candidacy to be announced at the end of the week. Outside of military alliances for decades, neighboring Sweden is also expected to announce its decision in the next few days, probably after a key meeting of Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s Social Democratic Party on Sunday.

“Being a member of NATO would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the alliance as a whole. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay., Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement. A press conference by the executive tandem on the “decisions concerning Finland’s security policy” is therefore scheduled for Sunday, according to the presidency.

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In the aftermath, if the Secretary General of NATO, the Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg, welcomed this willingness displayed by the Finnish leaders and promised them a process of accession ” smooth “ and fast, Moscow has somewhat railed against this position. “The enlargement of NATO and the rapprochement of the Alliance to our borders does not make the world and our continent more stable and more secure”Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, responding ” certainly “ to the question of whether Russia would consider Finland’s entry into NATO as a threat.

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Blur around Moscow’s response

For Dmitry Peskov, Russia’s response will depend “the practical fallout from this process, the advance of military infrastructure towards our borders”. “All of this will constitute the elements of a specific analysis and for the development of the measures necessary to balance the situation”, he added. The official position of the two leaders marks the rocking of the Finnish line, which shares a border of 1,300 kilometers and a painful past with Russia.

In Finland, 5.5 million inhabitants, 76% of the population is now in favor of membership, according to a poll published Monday, ie triple its pre-war level. A very large majority of the 200 deputies in Parliament has been won, with opponents falling to around ten, and most parties are now in favor – the Social Democratic Party of Sanna Marin must take a position last this Saturday.

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Subject to a form of forced neutrality by Moscow during the Cold War, Finland joined the European Union and NATO’s Partnership for Peace after the fall of the Soviet Union, but remained a non-member of the ‘alliance. Former Russian province (1809-1917) and invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939, the country shares a border of approximately 1,300 kilometers with Russia. The formal decision on membership is to be taken by a Council on Security and Foreign Policy, bringing together the head of state, the prime minister and several ministers.

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