Finland will make their NATO decision in the next few weeks, not months, according to PM Sanna Marine.
Finland and Sweden have both been close partners with NATO for decades, but have never made the leap to joining the 73-year-old international alliance. But in these turbulent days, everyone is remembering why NATO was formed – to counter the Soviet Union after WWII. A reason that feels all too relevant now.
“We have to be prepared for all kinds of actions from Russia,” Prime Minister Marin told reporters at a news conference in Stockholm, standing beside Swedish Prime Minister Madgalena Andersson.
Finland shares an 810-mile-long border with Russia, and Vladimir Putin and his administration have made open threats that there would be consequences to Finland joining NATO.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in early April that Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” if Finland and Sweden joined NATO. While Peskov said that would not include nuclear options, Putin had already warned about “retaliation” and “no winners” on the matter even before the February 24th invasion of Ukraine.
Those threats are exactly the reason Finland is now considering joining up.
“With the contours of European security irrevocably altered since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the direction of thinking in both countries — especially Finland — is getting clearer by the day,” wrote Anna Wieslander and Christopher Skaluba of the Atlantic Council, a private U.S.-based watch group of political networking.
“The difference between being a partner and being a member is very clear and will remain so. There is no other way to have security guarantees than under NATO’s deterrence and common defense as guaranteed by NATO’s Article 5,” Marin said.
“I won’t give any kind of timetable when we will make our decisions, but I think it will happen quite fast – within weeks not within months,” she continued.
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