Finland is not alone in reconsidering its security policy, but neighboring country Sweden has also been reviewing its stance in the aftermath of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.
Notwithstanding, before the two nations join the defense alliance, the 30 members currently in NATO will have to endorse their applications. The filing process is probably going to require a few months in any event.
In the wake of completing a couple of additional steps, Finland will be ready to send its application to enlist in the NATO military union, the country’s foreign affairs minister said.
The Nordic country has been thinking about joining NATO following Russia’s unwarranted attack of Ukraine. Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin has recently said the attack “changed the security strategy circumstance so that pressing forward is the only option to the status quo.”
Joining NATO would mark a sharp U-turn in Finland’s decades-long policy of neutrality but could lead to a backlash from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has been vocal about his opposition to NATO enlargement.
As indicated by the foreign affairs minister of the country Pekka Haavisto, they will soon send an application.
Finland is at present, driven by a five-party alliance government. Finnish president, Sauli Niinisto, is expected to announce his perspective on the country’s membership of NATO, starting off a sequence of events that should result in the formal application being sent through.
According to Haavisto, Sweden is also sending their NATO application around a similar time as Finland.
“We have very good cooperation on military issues with Sweden, actually, we can have a common surveillance of our airspace, on our maritime areas and so forth, and we are relying very much [on] each other, and of course, if it so happens in the future that one is in the … defense alliance and the other one is not — that might hamper also our good cooperation,” he said about the reasoning behind applying at the same time, Haavisto said.
Some NATO members, remarkably Germany and the United States, have said they are prepared to give security certifications to Stockholm and Helsinki during the timeframe between their applications and official enrollment.
Before the two nations join the defense alliance, the 30 members currently in NATO need to endorse their applications. A cycle that is probably going to require a few months at any rate.
In the mean time, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has spoken about a “minimum delay” for their applications.
For the time being, Finland is expecting to get a few political commitments from the alliance at a summit in June, due to come off in Madrid, Spain.
Meanwhile, Finland’s leaders say country should apply for NATO membership ‘without delay’. Finland’s membership would be historic for the Nordic country, which has had a decades-long policy of military neutrality.
As per officials of Finland, they are hoping that, the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.
“NATO membership would strengthen Finland’s security” and that Finland’s membership would in turn “strengthen the entire defence alliance.”
The government will look into the issue over and the Finnish parliament is expected to give its final approval to the application as early as Monday May 16.
President Navasto said Russia’s intrusion of Ukraine had changed Finland’s security situation in spite of the fact that there was no prompt danger.
Not long after Finland’s announcement, member Nordic country Denmark said it would push for the speedy NATO confirmation of Finland.
“Denmark will do everything for a quick admission process after the formal application,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Twitter.
Finland has been reviewing its security policy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which showed the Kremlin is willing attack a neighboring nation. Finland has been invaded in the past — in 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Finland in what became known as the Winter War.
NATO — or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — was established in 1949 by the U.S., Canada, and a few Western European countries to give aggregate protection from current Russia’s progenitor, the Soviet Union.
Since its establishment, the alliance has had a prickly relationship with the Soviet Union all through the Cold War, and following its breakdown in 1991, the Russian Federation.