“We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken quickly in the coming days.”
Niinistö and Marin estimate that the recent debate on the membership issue has been necessary to allow legislators and citizens to formulate their views on the issue and to have discussions with the union itself and its member states.
“We wanted to give the conversation the space it required,” they explained at the time of their announcement.
While the discussion and the broader process has been controlled and largely surprising, a kind of anomaly was noted on Thursday. Niinistö directed his words directly to Russia at a press conference with the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson In Helsinki.
“If we joined, my answer would be that you caused this. Look in the mirror,” he said.
He explained that Russia had brought about a fundamental change by changing its position on the military non-alignment of Finland and Sweden – from the view that non-alignment would contribute to the stability of the Baltic Sea, by demanding that the countries not accept NATO – and by launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
“We have been non-aligned with Sweden of our own free will. By saying it, Russia actually expressed that you have no will of your own – and that is a huge change. It made us think, he said.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page