The Finnish parliament debated NATO membership on Monday (May 16th) after the country’s president and prime minister said Finland must apply to join NATO’s military alliance “without delay”.
“In my opinion, joining NATO is an act of peace, it is a war that will never return to Finland,” Prime Minister Sanna Marin told parliament, according to Reuters.
The Finnish Prime Minister, as well as the President of the country, demanded the accession to NATO, in a fundamental change of the country’s policy
Most parliamentarians have already shown their support for accession.
On Sunday, May 15, Marin and President Sauli Niinisto confirmed that Finland would apply to join the alliance in a historic policy change brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Sweden is also expected to follow suit, as public support for accession has increased amid security concerns.
Finland officially demands NATO membership, Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on Sunday, May 15, 2022, head of government in Helsinki.
The announcement was made in Helsinki after, in recent weeks, both the population and politicians in Finland became increasingly supportive of the idea of joining the Atlantic Alliance. Even the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö, is in favor of this idea.
Finland was traditionally a neutral country but had a partnership with NATO. Finland is one of the countries that has maintained compulsory military service and has a strong defense industry. It has a very long land border, about 1300 kilometers, with Russia. Finland is asking to be accepted into NATO in order to obtain security guarantees, after Russia attacked Ukraine, which is also a neutral country. NATO cannot intervene to defend neutral countries but is obliged to intervene if any NATO country is attacked.
The North Atlantic Alliance currently has 30 member states. It is estimated that there will soon be 32 members, with the acceptance of Finland and Sweden. Sweden would make a similar request to Finland in the coming days. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (Norway) has assured Finland and Sweden that they will be received without any problems.
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