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Finnish PM: ‘We must be prepared for any action from Russia’

Finnish Prime Minister: We must prepare for any action from Russia - Photo 1.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (left) stands with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin before a joint press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, April 13 – Photo: REUTERS

According to Reuters news agency, this information highlights the change in Finland’s security stance since Russia launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24.

Finland and neighboring Sweden are close partners with NATO but have avoided joining the 30-member alliance.

“We must be prepared for any action from Russia,” Marin said at a joint press conference in Stockholm with her Swedish counterpart on April 13. She said the choice join NATO must be analyzed carefully, but everything changed when Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine.

“As a partner and as a member there is a very clear difference. There is no other way to ensure security than under the deterrence of NATO and the common defense guaranteed by article 5 of NATO” – she state.

Marin said she would not give any timetable on when Finland will decide (whether to join NATO or not). “I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly – in a matter of weeks, not months,” Marin said.

Finland shares a 1,300km-long common border with Russia to the east. Finland fought against the Soviet Union in the brief 1939-1940 war at the beginning of World War II. The country has remained militarily neutral and non-aligned ever since.

According to Ms. Marin, the important thing about joining NATO is having a consensus within the country. Accordingly, political parties will negotiate internally and at the National Assembly in the coming weeks.

Public opinion in Finland supports joining NATO. The most recent survey by private broadcaster MTV found that 68% of respondents were in favor of joining NATO and only 12% were against.

An update in the Finnish government’s white paper on foreign and security policy published on April 13 said that Russia’s conduct of a “special military operation” in Ukraine has profoundly changed the situation. security, but made no recommendations on joining NATO.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said there are pros and cons to being a member of NATO. The main advantage is being protected by security under Article 5 of NATO, under which the alliance considers an attack on one member as an attack on all.

Sweden was a neutral country during World War II and has not had a war in over 200 years.

Russia has repeatedly warned both countries against joining NATO. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that if Finland and Sweden joined NATO, Russia would have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures.

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