Sky News has learned that Finland is “highly probable” to join NATO after the Russian invasion in Ukraine.
Tytti Tippurainen stated that “people in Finland have already decided” and that there is overwhelming support for the alliance.
She said, “At the moment I would say it’s highly, but a determination has not yet been made.”
She stated that Russia’s “brutal war” in Ukraine was a wake-up call for all.
She said, “It has to do not only with us Finns. It has to do the whole security frontier in Europe.”
This comes just days after the Swedish and Finnish prime ministers Sanna Marina and Magdalena Andersson participated in a combined press conference.
Ms Marin stated that her country shares an 810-mile border to Russia and was ready to take a formal decision about NATO membership “within weeks”, following a debate in parliament.
Russia threatens nuclear war against Finland and Sweden.
Moscow responded by threatening to end the nuclear-free Baltic region.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s Security Council deputy chairman, threatened nuclear escalation. He said that there could be no more talk about a nuclear-free Baltic. The balance must be restored.
He also pledged to “seriously reinforce the grouping of air defense and ground forces (and) deploy significant naval force in the Gulf of Finland”.
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Arvydas anusauskas, Lithuania’s defence minister, said that this was “nothing” and Russia has nuclear weapons in the area – in Russia’s Kaliningrad Enclave on Baltic Sea.
Ms Tuppurainen spoke to Sky News Friday and stated: “Whatever Russia says, we are hearing it, but we are making our own decisions based upon our interests and the overall situation.
“Every country is free to make its own security arrangements.”
The Process should be’swift.
When asked how fast Finland could join NATO she replied: “It all depends on the NATO members, including the UK.
“It must be ratified in every member state. It can be very difficult to transition between the application for membership and becoming a NATO member.
“So it is in our collective interest that the process be as quick as possible.”
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Finland gained independence in 1917 from Russia and fought two wars against Russia during the Second World War. It lost some territory to Moscow.
When she was asked about relations with Russia before the conflict in Ukraine, she replied that ordinary people would travel as they please, and there were “cross-border relationships” and “cultural interchanges.”
Now she stated that things had changed dramatically. We cannot trust Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
One of the main reasons Mr Putin invaded Ukraine was to stop it from becoming a NATO member.