Finnish parliament begins debate on NATO membership

And despite Moscow’s warnings, the Finnish government said a candidacy was “highly likely”.

On Wednesday, April 20, the Finnish parliament will begin to debate NATO membership to better protect itself from possible Russian aggression, with a nomination now.”very likely“.

Despite Moscow’s recent warnings of nuclear buildup in the Baltic region should neighboring Finland or Sweden join the US-led military coalition, Helsinki intends to make a quick decision. “I think it will happen soon enough. In a few weeks, not a few monthsThe North’s young social democratic leader, Sanna Marin, said last week.

Possible vote by summer

Divided on the issue for so long until the invasion of Ukraine, 200 members of Eduskunta, the barely 100-year-old parliament, are heading for a clear majority in favor of membership in a possible vote by summer. According to the results of the Finnish media, one hundred of them have already decided to vote for membership, while only 12 people opposed it. Others are waiting for discussions to show their position. without expressing a formal recommendation, new”white bookLast week, the government handed over to parliamentarians the assurance that only membership in NATO made it possible to benefit from the alliance’s famous Article 5 umbrella on collective defense.

Even if it severed its strict neutrality at the end of the Cold War and when it joined the European Union in 1995, today Finland is just a NATO partner. For the Scandinavian country, whose border with Russia is 1,300 km, joining the 30-member coalition will provide a deterrent “Much largerAgainst an attack from its powerful neighbor, according to the white paper. he is “very likelyFinland’s European Affairs Minister Titi Toborainen acknowledged on Friday that Finland is a candidate, while ensuring that no decision has been made.

Two-thirds of Finns support membership

The Finns seem to have made up their minds and there is already a large majority in favor of NATO membershipOpinion polls show that nearly two-thirds of 5.5 million Finns now support membership, nearly three times the level they were at before the war in Ukraine. Moscow is trying to discourage the career of its former Grand Duchess, who has already received signs of support from Most of the members of the alliance for potential membership.

Being a member of NATO cannot enhance its national security. De facto, (Finland and Sweden) will be the front line of NATORussian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Friday. these countries”We must understand the consequences of such a move for our bilateral relations and for the European security architecture as a wholeShe said. The Finnish decision is being watched with great interest in Sweden. The Scandinavian country, which has not fought a war for two centuries, is considering joining the alliance, but appears to be making its decision based on Helsinki’s choice.

Many analysts expect Finland, and possibly Sweden, to be nominated quickly enough for the NATO summit at the end of June in Madrid. Member consensus is required. Si un point d’interrogation demeure sur le choix de la Hongrie de Viktor Orban à la ligne plus favorable à la Russie que les autres Européens, le secrétaire général de l’Otan Jens Stoltenberg a estimé qu’il n’y aurait pas impediment. Helsinki expects that four months to about a year will be needed to ratify the accession procedures – a delicate period during which guarantees of military assistance must be drafted in its favour.

If Finland joined, the land border between NATO and Russia would suddenly double to nearly 2,600 kilometers. Finland, Russian for nearly two centuries (1809-1917), shares a rich history with its large neighbour, which was marked by heroic resistance during World War II, and especially during the Winter War of 1939-40.

see also – ‘Do the same’ or ‘Wait’, Swedes respond to the NATO debate in Finland

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