Despite Russia’s Threat, Finland Begins Move To Join NATO

Finland’s parliament have signed off on the plan to seek membership in the defense alliance of NATO, a move that pitches the country against Russia.

Finland’s Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (L) and Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto give a press conference to announce that Finland will apply for NATO membership, at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland on May 15, 2022. – Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 has swung political and public opinion in Finland and neighbouring Sweden in favour of NATO membership as a deterrent against Russian aggression. (Photo by Heikki Saukkomaa / Lehtikuva / AFP) / Finland OUT reports that has vowed grave consequences if Finland goes ahead in its plan to join NATO.

Lawmakers in Helsinki, Finland’s capital, voted 188 to eight to back the proposal, with none abstaining and three absent. The vote caps more than 14 hours of continuous debate in the legislature on Monday, and more on Tuesday, where the bulk of parliamentarians advocated for entry.

The Finnish bill will be signed by the government as well as President Sauli Niinisto before the application can be delivered to NATO at its Brussels headquarters. Sweden’s application requires no vote in parliament and was signed by Foreign Minister earlier on Tuesday, while policy makers have said they wish to submit the letters together.

The Nordic countries are also working to resolve Turkish opposition to their plans, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday signaled he won’t allow them to join NATO because of their stances on Kurdish militants. The remarks were his clearest indication that he intends to block membership for the two countries, or at least extract concessions for it, since they announced their intentions to join over the weekend.

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