On February 6, 2022, a French soldier took part in a large exercise as part of NATO’s EFP (Advanced Presence Increase) operation at the Tapa Estonian Army Camp near Rakver.
Aline Jocard | AFP | Getty Images
Finnish President Sauli Ninistিস্ত and Prime Minister Sanaa Marin on Thursday said the country should apply to join NATO “without delay”.
Thursday’s announcement is still the strongest sign that Finland will make a formal application to join NATO. The membership will be historic for the Nordic country, which has a decade-long policy of military neutrality.
“Finland needs to apply for NATO membership without delay.” The leaders said in a joint statement that they hoped “national steps will still be taken in the next few days to make this decision.”
“NATO membership will strengthen Finland’s security” and Finland’s membership will “strengthen the entire defense alliance.”
The government will debate the issue over the weekend, and the Finnish parliament is expected to give final approval to the petition early Monday.
President Navasto said Russia’s aggression in Ukraine had changed Finland’s security situation, although there was no immediate threat.
Shortly after Finland’s announcement, fellow Nordic country Denmark said it would press for Finland’s speedy NATO accession.
“Denmark will do everything possible to speed up the admission process after the formal application,” Prime Minister Matte Frederickson said on Twitter.
The move from Helsinki could spark aggression from Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has voiced his opposition to NATO expansion.
Finland shares 830 miles of border with Russia; If it joins the military alliance, Russia will roughly double the land borders it shares with NATO territories (Russia has land borders with 14 countries and five of them are NATO members: Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland and Norway).
Finland is reviewing its security policy in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has shown the Kremlin is willing to attack a neighboring country. Finland invaded in the past – In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in what became known as the Winter War.
NATO – or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – was established in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European countries to provide joint security against the Soviet Union, the ancestor of modern Russia.
Since its inception, the alliance has had a thorny relationship with the Soviet Union since the Cold War and the collapse of the Russian Federation in 1991.
This is a breaking news and will be updated soon.