Finnish parliament approves country’s accession to NATO

188 deputies out of 200 expressed their support for membership in the alliance. The counterproposal to refuse to join NATO was put forward in the Union of Left Forces, but it was not supported

The Finnish Parliament called for an application for NATO membership. 188 deputies voted out of 200, eight— against, three were missing, writes Yle. The majority of parliamentarians rejected the proposal of the deputy of the “Union of Left Forces” Markus Mustajärvi on refusing to join the military bloc.

In their speeches, representatives of various parties emphasized that Finland's intention to become a member of the alliance is not directed against anyone. Prime Minister Sanna Marin, speaking at the opening of the meeting, formulated the goal of joining NATO as follows: “If we are attacked, we will be helped. And if others are attacked, then we will help already.

On May 14, Marin and President Sauli Niinistö announced that the Finnish government had officially decided to join the North Atlantic Alliance and would submit an application after consultations with Parliament: for such a step, its approval is necessary. Now that the positive opinion of the deputies has been received, the State Council and the President should officially announce the submission of the application— this will happen on Tuesday, according to Yle. Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that Helsinki plans to apply on May 18.

The Swedish authorities have also announced their intention to join NATO, Foreign Minister Ann Linde has already signed the application.

Turkey opposed the membership of the two Scandinavian states in the alliance: according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, these countries pander to organizations recognized by Ankara as terrorist — in particular the PKK. In addition, Helsinki and Stockholm imposed sanctions against the republic, so Turkey cannot support their entry into NATO, the head of state said.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who previously said that he would do everything possible for the speedy entry of Sweden and Finland to the bloc, after Erdogan's statements, he called to take into account Ankara's fears. “Turkey is a valuable ally and any security issues must be resolved. We must be together at this historic moment,»— stressed Stoltenberg.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation with Niinistö called Finland's refusal of neutrality erroneous, since “no threats” there is no security in the country. Moscow will react “appropriately” in the event of the expansion of NATO's military infrastructure in Sweden and Finland, he warned.

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