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Finland prepares for historic decision on NATO

Finland will enter the decisive phase this week regarding its potential candidacy for NATO, with a final choice expected at the end of June.

Unthinkable two months before the invasion of Ukraine, now possible and even probable: Finland will enter the decisive phase this week on his possible candidacy for NATOwith a final choice expected at the end of June.

A “white paper” on the country’s security is to be published – probably Thursday – by the Scandinavian country’s government, to draw the consequences of the new face of its neighbor Russia.

An application probably sent before June

The strategic review, which was commissioned in early March, promises to be the starting point for a reference to parliament and a national debate that will last several weeks – at a time when the question is also rising in similar terms for neighboring Sweden.

We will conduct very careful discussions, but we will not take more time than necessary Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Friday. † I think we have concluded our discussion before the end of June ‘ said the young Social Democratic leader.

I think the application will be forwarded sometime in May “, to allow a decision at the NATO summit scheduled for the end of June in Madrid, said former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, a supporter of membership.

Intensive consultations

Finland has expanded consultations with nearly all 30 NATO members in recent weeks.

With its Swedish neighbor, the country received clear commitments from Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that the door was open and received significant support from the United States to Germany via France or the United Kingdom.

The shift in public opinion has been dramatic: polls now point to a record 60% of Finns for membership – double the pre-war Ukraine. The proportion of hostile people has fallen to about 20%.

Although not everyone has expressed their position yet, there is also a clear majority in favor of NATO among the deputies in parliament. Vladimir Poutinewho had waved the red rag of NATO enlargement to justify the invasion of Ukraineis therefore with a possible new additional border of 1,340 kilometers with the western military alliance.

“Serious Consequences”

Moscow regularly threatens Helsinki and Stockholm with ” serious political and military consequences with membership a warning that has been repeated in recent weeks.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö acknowledged in late March thatNATO candidacy could provoke ‘rambunctious’ reactions from Russia — Government websites were the target of cyber attacks on Friday.

The unanimity of members required to join NATO. Whether Turkey’s support appears to be acquired, according to Helsinki, remains a question mark Hungary by Viktor Orban.

According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, NATO believes it would take four to 12 months to complete membership – the process had taken 13 days for North Macedonia, the last entry in March 2020.

On paper, Finland (5.5 million inhabitants) is a dream candidatewith a record number of reservists, demonstrating continued vigilance towards our Russian neighbour.

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