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Finland moves closer to joining NATO in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Finland moves closer to joining NATO in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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Russia’s neighbor Finland appeared closer to joining NATO on Wednesday after parliamentary groups showed their support for joining a military alliance in response to Moscow’s decision. Bloody invasion of Ukraine.

Eight out of 10 group leaders indicated during a debate in the Finnish parliament that they supported joining NATO or at least joining militarily, according to Reuters.

“It is clear that Russia’s actions have brought Finland several steps closer to the necessity of a military alignment,” the news agency quoted Ante Lindemann, leader of the Social Democrats of Prime Minister Sanna Marin, as saying.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks while looking at Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, during a plenary session at the Finnish Parliament in Helsinki, Finland, on Wednesday.
(Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)

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Center Party leader Juha Belvas reportedly said that “the Center Party group … is ready for all decisions required for Finland’s security, including applying for NATO membership.”

But the leader of the Left Alliance, Jussi Saramo, said that the idea of ​​Finland joining NATO should be taken up in a broader discussion, as making a request to do so would heighten border tensions and possibly make Finland a potential target in any future conflict between the alliance and Moscow. .

President Vladimir Putin discusses Russia's iron and steel industry via video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin discusses Russia’s iron and steel industry via video conference at the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday.
(AP/Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo)

Marin said last week that Finland decides on NATO membership In “weeks instead of months,” according to Euro News.

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“The difference between being a [NATO] Being a partner and being a member is pretty straightforward, and it always will be. There is no other way to obtain security guarantees except under NATO’s deterrence and common defense as guaranteed by NATO’s Article 5, Marine said, calling NATO an “important part of Europe’s political and security architecture.”

NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg during a press conference on March 4.

NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg during a press conference on March 4.
(NATO)

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Marin stressed that there was no specific timetable, but “everything changed with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Recent opinion polls in Finland have found that national attitudes on the issue have shifted dramatically, with support for joining NATO jumping from 26% in 2021 to 60% after the invasion – the first time support has breached the 50% threshold since the business forum began The Finnish policy of EVA in data collection. in the eighties.

Peter Aitken of Fox News contributed to this report.