Niinistö: NATO membership would be "most sufficient" Finnish security

President Sauli says that it is clear that ’s possible NATO membership would permanently increase tensions with at the country’s borders.

Niinistö, who was interviewed on Yle TV1 on Saturday, said that the biggest benefit of NATO membership would be "get a deterrent effect". On the other hand, there is a risk of various Russian countermeasures, including threats, he said.

However, he seemed to suggest that the benefits outweighed the possible negative consequences.

In his opinion, the most important thing is to consider solutions that increase Finland’s security.

"Adequate security is a place where Finns can feel that there is not and will not be an ," he said, adding that joining the would offer "most sufficient" .

According to Niinistö, another essential benefit would be related to Finland’s image as a safe country. It would support, for example, the Finnish business community and investment in the country, he said.

Niinistö emphasized that Parliament decides on the application for membership – and it is important that political decision-makers and the public are aware of the various possible consequences of joining the alliance.

According to Niinistö, it would be good for Finnish MPs and citizens to prepare in advance for Russia’s retaliation if the country applies to NATO.

“NATO’s door is open”

Niinistö said that the Finnish authorities have discussed a possible application with several key NATO member states, and they have been told that the NATO door is open to Finland.

Over the past week, Niinistö has issued several statements about NATO. He told his personal position on the issue "quite clear" but that he would announce the matter only after a free and thorough debate in Parliament.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the president suggested that deepening defense cooperation with the and Sweden could be an alternative to joining NATO.

Source: The Nordic Page

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