By Fergal MacErlean • 12 May 2022 • 15:05
Finland has earned the ire of Russia for the move which has said it will be forced to take “retaliatory steps”.
A foreign ministry statement, issued on Thursday, and translated by the BBC said the move would seriously damage bilateral relations, as well as security and stability in northern Europe.
“Finland’s accession to Nato will cause serious damage to bilateral Russian-Finnish relations and the maintaining of stability and security in the Northern European region,” it said.
“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of a military-technical and other nature, in order to neutralise the threats to its national security that arise from this.”
A joint statement by Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin, said the two leaders expected a decision on Nato membership in a matter of days.
“Nato membership would strengthen Finland’s security,” it said.
“As a member of Nato, Finland would strengthen the entire defence alliance. Finland must apply for Nato membership without delay.”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said any application to join the alliance would be “smooth and swift” and that Finland, which shares a 1,300 kilometre-long border with Russia, “would be warmly welcomed”.
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Originally from Dublin, Fergal is based on the eastern Costa del Sol and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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