Finland, which has in the past warred with Russia, has officially announced that it will be submitting its application to join NATO as a proper member.
Seemingly as a response to the invasion of Ukraine by forces sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Sanna Marin and President Sauli Niinisto stated in a jointly released statement this past Thursday. It could be quite a few months before NATO formally allows the country membership in its ranks.
When asked about what he would say to Putin concerning this coming to light, Niinisto answered: “You caused this. Look in the mirror.”
In part, the joint release read, “NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance. Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay.”
Within just a few short hours of its official announcement, Russia issued its response. The press secretary for Putin, Dmitry Peskov, declared, “Finland’s entry into NATO will become a threat to Russia. … The next expansion of NATO does not make our continent more stable and secure. … Of course, all this will become elements for a special analysis and development of the necessary measures in order to balance the situation and ensure our security.”
If Finland is actually admitted into NATO, the alliance’s line on the border between itself and Russia would almost double in size, with an expansion from just 754 miles to 1,584 miles, as reported to The Daily Mail.
Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Foreign Minister, also declared, “The NATO secretary general has said that this process will take between four and 12 months. My own impression is that it might be closer to four months than 12 months.”
Sweden just may follow in the footsteps of Finland just next week, reported the Daily Expressen.
“The major policy shift which completely rewrites Europe’s post WWII alignment comes a day after Boris Johnson signed security pacts with Helsinki and Stockholm pledging Britain would come to their aid if they come under Russian attack,” highlighted the Daily mail.
After attending a press conference held in Helsinki with Niimostro, stated Johnson, “The security declaration, the solemn declaration we have signed today, ensures that our two nations can intensify our partnership and take it to unparalleled heights, both latitudinal and metaphorical. … From the high north, to the Baltics and beyond, our armed forces will train, operate and exercise together, marrying our defense and security capabilities and formalizing a pledge that we will always come to one another’s aid.”
A poll conducted by Yle, a Finnish public broadcaster, found out that 76% of the Finnish people were in support of joining NATO: a change from the past few years when that number sat at 20%-30% on average.