Finland Says Will Likely Submit Application For NATO Membership In Coming Weeks

While meeting with lawmakers in Sweden on Thursday, a top Finnish parliament foreign affairs official informed the country's allies that Finland is likely to submit formal application to NATO within the coming weeks. It comes after earlier in the month Sweden already said it's on the path to joining the Western military alliance, and after Russia has issued severe warnings that nuclear build-up would be triggered in the Baltic region by the Scandinavian countries doing so.

The possibility is being intensely discussed in Finnish parliament this week. Starting Tuesday the ruling party of the Social Democrats issued a statement saying, "It is evident that Russia's actions have brought Finland several steps closer to military alignment being necessary," according to Reuters, which took it as an indicator Helsinki has 'inched closer' to joining the alliance. 

And the following day, on Thursday, top Finnish officials met with their Swedish counterparts for an update on the progress of national debate, which is expected to continue into next month.

Finland Says Will Likely Submit Application For NATO Membership In Coming Weeks

Image: NATO

The Helsinki Times reported the following

Erkki Tuomioja (SDP), the deputy chairperson of the committee, told Swedish policy-makers that Finland will probably submit its membership application in the coming weeks, given that the move is backed by “a strong majority” of both the public and lawmakers.

“I stated this regardless of whether I personally think it’s a good or a bad thing,” he added to the newspaper in Stockholm.

Sweden signaled its intent to join, but appears to still be awaiting Finland's final course, given the countries appear to be acting in some degree of coordination on the mattter. 

Member of Finnish parliament Jussi Halla-aho said Tuomioja had "made it clear that Finland is moving toward the pre-determined objective of joining the defense alliance."

Further as Helsinki Times writes, "Tuomioja himself said the white paper the government released last week lays down a clear path to membership, adding that it would be important that the process yields the same outcome in Finland and Sweden."

"It’d be very harmful to both if one was and the other wasn’t in Nato," Halla-aho commented. "I hope Swedes proceed with the matter with roughly the same timetable so that we can reach a joint solution."

Finland Says Will Likely Submit Application For NATO Membership In Coming Weeks
Via Helsinki Times/TT: Erkki Tuomioja (left) &Jussi Halla-aho (right) of the Finnish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in a photograph with Swedish Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist & Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde in Stockholm.

On the same day as the Swedish and Finnish delegations met in Stockholm, the Kremlin reiterated threats aimed at both countries...

"Under the auspices of the US, Brussels has been pulling Sweden and Finland into its structures for a while, there have been various hybrid measures on the actual pulling in, under the guise of drills or training sessions," Russia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

"We made all our warnings — both publicly and via bilateral channels. They know about this, so there are no surprises. They were informed about everything, what it will lead to," she added ominously but without spelling out the specifics

Last week, Sky News cited the warnings of deputy chairman of Russia's Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, as follows

Russia has said there will be "no more talk of a nuclear–free Baltic" if Sweden and Finland join NATO. Such a development would more than double the length of the military alliance's land borders with Russia, Moscow added. 

Meanwhile The Real Fly lays out the possible scenarios and consequences in the below...

* * *

This is an escalation. There are two ways to look at this and two ways alone. The leaders of Finland aren’t afraid of provoking military conflict with Russia, whom they believe “have gone crazy.” In other words, they are okay with doing things that will directly cause the deaths of their citizenry.

The flip side is independence from Russia means being able to make decisions for Finland without fear of reprisal. If they folded on the non existent NATO matter, why Russia might ask for Finnish ports to protect them against a German invasion of Leningrad.

No matter what side you fall on, this is worse for the specter of peace and only hastens the war path NATO is on with Russia.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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