Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has alarmed many of its neighbors, causing a military buildup in Poland and the Baltic region. It has also prompted country’s that have a history of neutrality to have a renewed debate about NATO membership.
Today, Finland and Sweden said that they would consider joining NATO in a matter of ‘weeks, not months’ as the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Europe has led to a more urgent timetable.
Finland has remained a neutral country since 1948 when it signed a neutrality pact with the USSR, meaning the country will enter in to a debate to end its neutral status that has lasted nearly 75 years.
The Epoch Times Reports–
“Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin on Wednesday said Helsinki is moving toward a decision on applying to join the NATO military alliance “within weeks” and “not within months.”
“I won’t give any kind of timetable when we will make our decisions, but I think it will happen quite fast, within weeks, not within months,” Marin said during an April 13 joint news conference with her Swedish counterpart in Stockholm.
Marin made the announcement while meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson in the country’s capital. The two leaders discussed how to strengthen the security of both Nordic countries in the changing security environment.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has triggered a surge in support for joining NATO in the two traditionally militarily non-aligned Nordic countries. Finland, which has a population of 5.5 million, shares the EU’s longest border with Russia, an 833-mile frontier.
“The European security architecture has changed fundamentally after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The change in the security landscape makes it necessary to analyze how we best secure peace for Finland and in our region in the future,” Marin said.”
An opinion poll released a month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine found that over 50 percent of Finns support joining NATO. Russia has previously warned both Sweden and Finland against joining NATO.