Finland and Sweden will apply for NATO membership together on Wednesday

Finnish President Sauli and the Prime Minister of Sweden Magdalena Andersson said the plan to submit their countries’ NATO applications at one of the union’s headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

The leaders made comments at a joint press conference on Tuesday in Stockholm.

Niinistö said that ’s invasion of at the end of February led both and Sweden to join NATO.

"In the past, both [Finland and Sweden] and Russia thought that our non-alignment affected stability, but when Russia said we should not apply for NATO membership, that changed," Niinistö said.

"That meant we had to do something, and after February 24th [the first day of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine]it became clear what we had to do," he continued.

Niinistö also noted Russia’s recent decision to take a more relaxed approach to the possible accession of Finland and Sweden.

On Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO would most likely do "not much difference" with the President made a similar remark the day before.

Niinistö suggested that the change in tone may indicate that leaders do not want to tell the Russians that it has another problem in their hands.

The President said that he had considered whether Russia would take a tough response to Finland’s NATO decision, adding that this did not seem to be the case, but said that the situation could still change.

Applying together

Andersson said Sweden and Finland would file their NATO applications at military alliance headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

"I’m glad we’ve taken the same path and can do it together," he said. "Membership strengthens security in Sweden and the region. The fact that we are doing this together means that we can contribute to the security of Northern Europe and participate in comprehensive Nordic co-operation,"

The leaders also discussed recent comments from the Turkish president that his country was not in favor of the Nordic countries joining NATO, citing concerns about NATO "terrorists" in both countries.

Niinistö said that both he and Andersson tried to contact Erdoğan. He also stated that he was surprised by ’s changed attitude and said that the country had previously expressed a positive attitude towards Finland’s NATO membership.

Andersson said the countries are ready to travel to Turkey "discuss and correct any question marks."

“I think democracy has won”

Niinistö praised the solidarity of Finland’s parliamentary parties after an overwhelming majority of MPs approved Finland’s application to NATO.

He pointed out that 94 per cent of 199 MPs voted in favor of the motion, saying it was a process

Niinistö and his wife Jenni Haukio made an official state visit to Sweden on Tuesday.

Niinistö and Andersson are on their way to the United States on Thursday to meet with US President to discuss pending NATO applications in their countries.

Niinistö said it is very interesting to discuss the NATO search schedule with Biden.

Source: The Nordic Page

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