Finland makes official decision to apply to join NATO

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 16, 2022
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Finland's President Sauli Niinisto (R) and Prime Minister Sanna Marin attend a joint press conference in Helsinki, Finland, May 15, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

Finland's president and the government's foreign policy committee on Sunday took the official decision to start the process of the country's application to become a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

"On May 15, the President of the Republic and the Ministerial Committee on Foreign and Security Policy of the Government finalized a report on Finland's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The report will proceed to the plenary session of the Government today... and after its approval, it will be submitted to Parliament," the government said in a statement.

Addressing a joint press conference with Prime Minister Sanna Marin, President Sauli Niinisto described the day as historical as a new era is opening. He said that Finnish security is not "a zero-sum game," not directed against anyone.

Also hailing the day as historic, Marin said that following the parliamentary approval, the cabinet will suggest to President Niinisto that the application be sent to NATO.

In a phone call initiated by Helsinki on Saturday, Niinisto informed Russian President Vladimir Putin of Finland's decision to seek NATO membership in the next few days. The Kremlin said in a statement that "Putin stressed that abandoning the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake, since there are no threats to Finland's security."

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