The Head of State and a governing council “have jointly decided that Finland is going to apply for NATO membership,” declared Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. “A new era is dawning,” he said at a news conference.
The Finnish parliament must consider on Monday membership plan, and a vote is expected soon, according to the president of the chamber. With the support gained Saturday from Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democratic Party, the latter should result in a river score among the 200 Finnish MPs.
“We hope that Parliament will confirm the decision on the NATO bid in the coming days. It will be based on a clear mandate,” said Sanna Marin.
Vladimir Putin calls this request a “mistake”
The Finnish president called his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Saturday to inform him of his country’s imminent application for membership, which is threats of retaliation from Moscow. The Russian president told him that joining NATO “would be a mistake,” judging that “there is no threat to Finland’s security,” according to the Kremlin.
In Finland, the war in Ukraine has resulted in a historic jump in support for NATO membership to better protect itself from Russia, with which the country shares a 1,300-kilometre border.
According to the latest polls, the proportion of Finns who want to join the alliance has risen to more than three-quarters, or three times the pre-war level in Ukraine.