May 17, 2022

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War in Ukraine: Despite Russian warnings, Finland begins debate on NATO membership

Finland remains the only NATO partner today, despite joining the EU in 1995 at the end of the Cold War and breaking its strict neutrality.

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LThe Finnish parliament on Wednesday began debating NATO membership to protect itself from Russian occupation, and now the nomination is “highly possible”.

Despite neighboring Finland or Sweden joining a US-led military alliance, Helsinki wants to make a decision soon, despite Moscow’s recent warnings about nuclear reinforcement in the Baltic region.

“I think it’s going to happen soon, in a few weeks, not a few months,” Sanna Marin, a Nordic young social democrat, said last week.

The issue is long overdue until the invasion of Ukraine, and 200 members of the country’s 100 – year – old parliament, Eduskunda, are heading for a clear majority in favor of a possible referendum in the summer.

According to the scores made by the Finnish media, one hundred of them have already decided to vote for members, and only 12 are against. Others are waiting for discussions to show their position.



Without making a formal recommendation, a new “white paper” submitted to parliament last week by the government insisted that membership in NATO would only be able to benefit from the umbrella of its famous 5th article on collective security.

Finland remains the only NATO partner today, despite joining the EU in 1995 at the end of the Cold War and breaking its strict neutrality.

The White Paper says that joining a 30-member alliance with the Nordic country, which has a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, will provide a “significantly larger” barrier to attack by its powerful neighbors.

Finnish Foreign Minister Tytti Tuppurainen on Friday acknowledged that Finland was “very likely” to be a candidate, while confirming that no decision had been made.

Moscow puts pressure

“The Finns seem to have made up their minds and there is already a huge majority in favor of joining NATO,” he noted.

Polls show that nearly two-thirds of the 5.5 million fins are now in favor of members, almost three times their pre-war level in Ukraine.

Moscow is trying to encourage the march of its former Grand Duchy, which has already garnered support from most members of the Alliance for Potential Members.

If Finland joins, the land border between NATO countries and Russia will suddenly double, reaching almost 2,600 kilometers.

Finland, for almost two centuries (1809-1917), shares a rich history with its great neighbors, marked by heroic resistance during World War II, especially during the Winter War of 1939-40.

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