The Nordic country’s president and prime minister said on Sunday Finland would apply to join NATO in the coming days as a way to maximize its security, the Nordic country’s president and prime minister said. Europe said on Sunday it would double NATO’s borders with Russia and change Europe’s geopolitics.
“This is a historic day. A new era has begun,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said at a press conference, when Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, another non-NATO member that shares a border with Russia, did overturned decades of thinking about security in Helsinki.
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said: “We couldn’t be more confident that there would be a peaceful future next to our own Russia. That is why we made the decision to engage with Nato: it is an act of peace, to ensure that there will never be war in Finland in the future”.
Later on Sunday, Sweden’s ruling Social Democratic Party will announce its decision on whether to abolish 200 years of non-aligned military service and submit an application at the same time.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday opposed the two Nordic nations’ joining NATO, saying he could not take a “positive view” of the two nations’ potential bid to become a member of NATO. member members.
Foreign ministers from several NATO countries expressed optimism that Turkey would change its mind about joining the Western defense alliance and that the two countries could quickly join.
“We hope this situation will be resolved through direct dialogue between the three countries,” Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Auresc said on Sunday before consultations with Nato partners in Berlin.
Finland’s president and prime minister both downplayed concerns that Turkey could jeopardize NATO’s bid after President Erdoğan said on Friday he could not take a “positive view” on the Finnish or Swedish application.
Niinistö said he was “a bit confused” after chatting with Erdoğan in which the Turkish president told him: “We will evaluate it favorably”.
Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, said he was “confident” that Turkey would be moved. “But of course Turkey is very difficult sometimes and so are we,” he said.
Public opinion has massively supported NATO membership in both Finland and Sweden since Russia began an all-out war against Ukraine in February.
The NATO membership of Sweden and Finland will change the security situation in Northern Europe and make it easier for the alliance to defend the Baltic states. It would also double Nato’s border with Russia, which has threatened “serious political and military consequences” if either country joins the alliance. The final decision to adopt by the Finnish government will need to be approved by parliament, which meets on Monday.
NATO foreign ministers will spend Sunday discussing the war in Ukraine and how they can boost aid to the government in Kyiv. They will also discuss Nato’s new strategic concept ahead of the alliance’s summit in Madrid in June. This will identify the security challenges Nato faces and outline the political and military tasks Nato will undertake to address them.
Annalena Baerbock, German Foreign Minister, said there should be no delay in bringing Sweden and Finland into NATO. “There should be no . . . gray zone,” she said before the informal meeting, adding that she hoped that the two countries could “join very quickly”.
Erdoğan, who gave reasons for his opposition, cited Swedish and Finnish support for the Kurdistan Workers’ party (PKK), which has waged a decades-long armed insurgency. century against the Turkish state. It is classified as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the US and the EU. The Scandinavian countries are “like a kind of guesthouse for terrorist organizations,” Erdoğan said.
But Turkey appears to be alone in this position, with most Nato members expressing strong support for the accession of Finland and Sweden.
Niinistö will make a state visit to Sweden early next week, during which the two countries can jointly submit their Nato applications.
The foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland joined their Nato colleagues at a dinner in Berlin on Saturday to discuss their membership bids.
“If they decide to seek membership, I believe the allies will view this alliance constructively and positively,” said Mircea Geoană, deputy secretary-general of Nato.
He described the two countries as “vibrant democracies” with “perfect” records of the rule of law and a “strong military” that was “very likely to interact with the rest of Nato”.
Baerbock said that many countries never wanted to join the defense treaty “but now they are being pushed into NATO’s hands” by Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.
The German government will ensure “rapid ratification” of Sweden and Finland’s Nato membership, she added. “This cannot be a lengthy process,” she said, noting that joining the two countries would “make us even stronger.”