Thursday, 26 May 2022
BusinessSauli Niinisto confirms Finland will apply to join NATO

Sauli Niinisto confirms Finland will apply to join NATO

Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto confirmed on Sunday that his country would apply for membership of the NATO military alliance.

The announcement came after Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday that they both favored NATO membership, in a major policy shift prompted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia, which shares a long land border with Finland, has said it would be a mistake for Helsinki to join the transatlantic alliance and that it would harm bilateral ties.

Neighboring Sweden is likely to decide on its NATO stance on Sunday in a meeting of the governing Social Democratic Party led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson.

US President Joe Biden held a joint call Friday with both Niinisto and Andersson where, according to a White House statement, he “underscored his support for NATO’s Open Door policy and for the right of Finland and Sweden to decide their own future, foreign policy and security arrangements.”

The US is also working with Turkey on the NATO membership of the two nations, the White House said, after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced Ankara’s objection over Helsinki and Stockholm’s welcoming stance toward the PKK and other terrorist groups.

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