- Finland’s president and prime minister said it should apply to NATO “without delay”.
- NATO’s head said they would be welcomed quickly and seamlessly into blocks.
- Sweden is also likely to join NATO, which would be a blow to Putin.
Finland’s president and prime minister said they wanted national leaders to apply for NATO membership as soon as possible in their strongest statement of support for joining the military alliance.
As reported by several media outlets, they said in a joint statement on Thursday: “NATO member states will strengthen Finland’s security. Finland, as a NATO member, will strengthen its entire defense alliance. Finland will apply for NATO membership without delay. You should.
“We hope that the national action necessary to make this decision will be taken quickly in the next few days.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought political and public support for NATO membership to an all-time high in Finland, and Sweden is expected to apply for NATO membership as well.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke favorably about Finland’s accession on Thursday.
“If Finland decides to apply, it will warmly welcome NATO membership and the accession process will be smooth and expeditious,” he said. According to the BBC.
“Finland is one of NATO’s closest partners, a mature democracy, a member of the European Union and an important contributor to European Atlantic security,” he added.
Russia threatened to retaliate if Finland and Sweden joined NATO. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “As we have said many times before, NATO’s expansion does not make the world more stable and secure.” per CNN.
Finland shares an 830-mile border with Russia, and the decision by the two countries to join would come as a blow to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had planned an invasion of Ukraine in response to the possibility of Russian neighbors joining NATO. .