Finland announced its “historic” candidacy for NATO on Sunday, before a decisive meeting in Sweden, where both countries could simultaneously apply for membership, a direct result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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“It simply came to our notice then. A new era is dawning, ”said Finnish President Sauli Ninisto while announcing his decision to apply for the post of Finnish executive member in Helsinki.
Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the Western Coalition, confirmed that the entry of the two Nordic countries into NATO was viewed with the worst possible scenario by Moscow, as evidence that “an occupation like the invasion of Ukraine” would not pay off. .
The Kremlin has justified its occupation of Ukraine, with NATO risking expanding its gates, extending the border between Finland’s member Russia and the alliance to about 1,300 kilometers.
The NATO boss said he was “optimistic” about the possibility of a compromise between the member states of the alliance, with Turkey suddenly expressing its hostility to Swedish-Finnish membership.
He assured that Ankara had clearly stated its intention not to block the entry of the two countries.
Despite being on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations on the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Turkey is critical of both countries, especially Stockholm.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reconciled with Finland on Sunday, but focused his criticism on the “provocative statements” from Sweden, saying relations with him have sometimes been rock solid in recent years.
In Helsinki, President Ninisto told him that he was ready to hold a new discussion with (Turkish) President Erdogan on the issues he had raised.
NATO is ready to strengthen the “security guarantees” of Finland and Sweden, especially by strengthening NATO’s presence, in the interim period of several months between the candidate and its members.
Only NATO members benefit from popular article 5 on mutual protection, not candidates. So Stockholm and Helsinki have been seeking security guarantees in recent weeks.
Following the decision of the administration, the Finnish parliament is due to consider the membership plan on Monday, with a vote expected by the Speaker of the House. The majority of the river has already been acquired.
In Sweden, the leadership of the ruling Social Democratic Party, which will announce its end, began a decisive meeting on Saturday morning, where the dominant formation of Swedish politics should drop the hostile trend towards its members.
A press conference is scheduled for 6:00 pm local time (4:00 pm GMT).
If the green light comes from Prime Minister Magdalena Anderson’s party, the path to declaring a Swedish candidate will be clear, almost two centuries of neutrality and then, of military mobilization since the 1990s.
Formally, the candidate for NATO must send his file to the organization’s headquarters in Brussels, which requires the consensus of the current 30 members, with the aim of initiating membership talks.
Since the end of the Cold War, Sweden and Finland have already become NATO partners and members of the European Union.
But entering NATO, which was politically unthinkable a few months ago, signifies complete integration into the Western camp.
“Error” according to Moscow
On Saturday, the Finnish president summoned his Russian envoy, Vladimir Putin, and told him of his immediate application for membership, which sparked hostility from Moscow.
According to the Kremlin, the Russian president ruled that “there is no threat to Finland’s security” and that it was “wrong” to join NATO.
Except for one big border, both countries share a painful past. Former Russian Grand Duchy, Finland was invaded in 1939 by the Soviet Union.
For most of World War II, Finland was at war with the Soviet Union and was forced into neutral neutrality during the Cold War, under Moscow’s control.
Helsinki is on high alert for Russian retaliation – citing Russian power outages Friday evening
But its president does not believe in military action. “After my call with Putin, I think more,” he said. Ninisto said that meant that the conversation did not pose any “threat.”
“The Finns can rest in peace,” said Defense Minister Andy Caicon.