Finns Raise Potential of Joining NATO
Jan. 2, 2022 (EIRNS)—The Finns are dangling the possibility of NATO membership as an “option.” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, in his New Year’s Day speech yesterday, reflecting on the Ukraine crisis, said that the post-Cold War era was over and that great power politics were in a state of flux, reported the YLE broadcaster. “But every time the shape of geopolitics changes, the impacts are also felt by countries smaller than the great powers. Sometimes particularly by them.”
Notions of spheres of interest are outdated, according to Niinistö, who said Russia’s recent ultimatums to the U.S. and NATO about the alliance’s further expansion also concern Europe. That said, Niinistö called on the EU to take a more active role, saying Europe should do more than “listen in.”
Niinistö reiterated Finland’s possibility to apply for NATO membership. “Finland’s room to maneuver and freedom of choice also include the possibility of military alignment and applying for NATO membership, should we ourselves so decide.”
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin echoed Niinistö on the NATO question. “Finland retains the option of applying for NATO membership,” Marin said. “We should uphold this freedom of choice and make sure it remains a reality, as this is part of every country’s right to decide on its own security policies.”
It should be recalled that in March 2021, President Niinistö had proposed a Helsinki Summit in 2025 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the conference in Helsinki that created the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In his article, “Arctic Cool and the Spirit of Helsinki,” President Niinistö said that such a summit of world leaders (emphatically including Russia) could address military tensions through direct conversation.