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Before the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, on February 22, the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Proprietary Steering, Titi Toporin, is speaking to the media.
Before the EU General Affairs Council in Brussels, Belgium, on February 22, the Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Proprietary Steering, Titi Toporin, is speaking to the media. (Thierry Monase / Getty Images)

Finland’s Minister for European Affairs said it was “very likely” that Finland would apply for NATO membership.

Speaking to CNN on Monday, Tytti Tuppurainen said no decision had been made yet, but called the country’s possible membership “a very natural reaction” to Russia’s war in Ukraine. She added that if her country did indeed apply, she hoped “the verification process would be as short as possible.”

“Of course, we would prefer a neighborhood based on friendship and cooperation,” he said. “But it is Russia that has distanced itself from the security order and it is Russia that has started the war in Europe. It is Russia that has invaded Ukraine. Now people are seeing this new reality. Yes, and it is time to join NATO.

On Thursday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is expected to give his personal opinion on NATO membership, followed by a statement from Prime Minister Sana Marin.

Upcoming decision: Toporinen told CNN that most of the country’s political parties have already discussed the issue. The Social Democrats – Marin and Toporin’s party – will meet on Saturday to make their decision, which will be guided by Marin’s announcement.

“Now that the country’s leader is about to make a decision on NATO’s request, we can say with good reason that the whole country is ready for it,” said Topornin. Said noting. .

Message to Moscow: Russia has warned that it will respond if Finland – with which it has a border of more than 800 miles – joins NATO.

The Kremlin does not dictate our decisions, “Toporin told CNN, adding that” it would be in Russia’s best interests to behave like adults in this situation. “

“We have now seen what kind of country Russia is and what kind of government it has. It has a ruthless dictator as its leader,” he said. “We are no longer under the illusion that they What he is doing is … and we now know that he can wage a war that is as despicable and ruthless and brutal as anyone can imagine. “

Finland has been a longtime partner of NATO, which US and NATO officials have indicated will raise its voice in support of the country’s membership if it chooses to apply.



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