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Finland before membership application: Kremlin calls possible NATO membership a “clear” threat – Politics

According to the assessment of the leadership in Moscow, Finland’s accession to NATO would “clearly” pose a threat to Russia. As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained on Thursday, an expansion of the military alliance and a NATO rapprochement with Russia’s borders “would not make the world and our continent more stable and more secure”.

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The Kremlin spokesman answered the question of whether Russia would see Finland’s NATO membership as a threat with “definitely”. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin spoke out in favor of their country’s “immediate” accession to NATO on Thursday.

In a joint statement, the two endorsed membership in the western military alliance. This would strengthen Finland’s security and the entire alliance at the same time, declared the Nordic country’s two most important politicians.

NATO promised Finland a quick admission. “The accession process would run smoothly and quickly,” said General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday. Finland is one of NATO’s closest partners, a mature democracy, a member of the EU and a key factor when it comes to Euro-Atlantic security. “You would be warmly welcomed into NATO,” said Stoltenberg.

The EU’s northernmost country is expected to decide on a formal application for membership in the coming days, probably on Sunday. This step would be a direct consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the resulting changed security situation in Europe. For Finland, which has been non-aligned for a long time and shares a border with Russia that is more than 1,300 kilometers long, such a decision would be historic.

Before the country can join NATO, all 30 current members must agree. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has recently signaled several times that there is broad support for this within the alliance.

Niinistö and Marin’s government ultimately decide together on the NATO issue, but they involved parliament in the decision-making process. On the way to a decision, the government had already submitted a security analysis to the Riksdag in Helsinki in April, in which the advantages and risks of possible NATO membership were highlighted. However, the analysis did not include a position for or against such a membership.

More on the Ukraine war on Tagesspiegel Plus:

The Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia welcome the fact that Finland’s political leadership is in favor of joining NATO soon. “Finland’s accession would significantly strengthen both the alliance and the security of the Baltic States,” Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “I am happy about this great historic day!”

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