Finland insists on the right to join NATO, ignoring Russia’s demands

Russia’s tense in Ukraine has rekindled the Finnish debate on whether the Nordic country should join NATO, ignoring Moscow’s request to limit the expansion of the European military alliance.

President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin both emphasized in their New Year speeches that Finland reserves the right to seek NATO membership at any time.

“Let us declare again: Finland’s leeway and freedom of choice also include the possibility of military alliances and application for NATO membership, if we decide for ourselves,” Niinisto Say.

Marin Add to In her separate speech, each country has the right to decide its own security policy, and emphasized: “We have shown that we have learned lessons from the past. We will not let go of our room for maneuver.”

As russia Assemble about 100,000 soldiers On the eastern border of Ukraine, Washington, Moscow and NATO member states are scheduled to hold talks in early January. US President Joe Biden will also speak with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday.Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously Refuse to exclude Military operations, and warned that if his requirements for “security guarantees” restricting NATO’s expansion are not met, he has “various” options.

Finland and Neighboring Sweden The two countries are not military-aligned, but their cooperation with NATO is growing day by day, and they have established strong bilateral relations with alliance members such as the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

Finland did not feel that it immediately applied to join NATO, but Russia’s activities at the Ukrainian border and its list of requirements before Christmas ignited NATO’s enthusiasm. Internal debate Helsinki reached the level seen for the last time after Russia annexed Crimea.

Niinisto also warned the West that if the threat of possible military action is eliminated, it might endow Russia with power. The President of Finland quoted former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (Henry Kissinger) to appease Nazi Germany: “Whenever avoiding war becomes the main goal of the great power bloc, the international system is at the mercy of its most ruthless members.”

Petri Olpo, leader of the main opposition National League Party and a long-time supporter of NATO members, also said that now is the time to discuss whether Finland should apply. He believes joining will improve the security of the country and neighboring areas.

“Russia has recently hinted that Finland and Sweden may become NATO members to force them to carry out military retaliation. Such speeches are condemned and ultimately more indicative of Russia’s ultimate goal than Finland or Sweden’s. Finland now or any other The way is not a threat to Russia,” Olbo Say An article was published on his party website on Thursday.

Atte Harjanne, an active reserve soldier and head of the Green Party parliamentary group, a member of the ruling five-party government coalition, Say The argument for Finland’s accession has been “strengthened” and the country should join immediately.

The main politicians of all three Baltic countries believe that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO is essential to improving the security situation on Russia’s western border, because they are not only worried about Ukraine, but also Belarus and its Use immigration Tested in Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO “can make the whole of Northern Europe more stable and safer,” Say Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Estonian Parliament.

Finland is one of the few European countries that have not cut their spending drastically. army The powerful force on the 1,340-kilometer border with Russia after the Cold War and the memory of the fierce battle with the Soviet Union in the winter of 1939-40 ensure that security issues remain a high priority.

Finland also maintains close diplomatic and commercial relations with Russia. Security experts say that Niinisto may be the leader of Europe. Most respected His Russian President Vladimir Putin talks with him regularly.

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