According to a Russian lawmaker, Finland’s membership in NATO would make it a legitimate “target” and ensure the “destruction of their country.” if it did so. Pekka Haavisto, Finland’s foreign minister, said today that the country’s position on NATO membership will be clarified in the next few weeks. However, Russia’s upper house lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov warned that joining the pact would be a terrible tragedy, and threatened similar aggression to that seen in Ukraine.
As a result of the country’s longstanding trade and economic ties with Russia, Finland could be a prime target. For the entire Finnish people, I believe this would be a terrible tragedy.’ ‘The Finns themselves will not sign a card for the destruction of their country,’ said the senator. His warnings came as Haavisto said today that NATO member countries have offered to help Finland with ensuring security during the application process. The time it would take for the application to be approved has been estimated by member countries to be anywhere from four months to a year.
Long-term neutral support Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Finland’s interest in joining NATO has grown. ‘Both joining NATO and not joining are choices that have consequences,’ said Prime Minister Sanna Marin earlier this week. We must take into account both short-term and long-term consequences. Our ultimate goal should be to ensure the safety of Finland and its citizens under all circumstances.’ Russia and Finland’s relationship has changed irreversibly since the Ukraine assault, and it will take some time to restore trust, Marin said.
The 1,340-kilometer (800-mile) border between Finland and Russia is the longest of any EU member. To avoid provoking Moscow, since the end of the Cold War, it has remained militarily non-aligned and thus avoided going to war or conflict. Despite Moscow’s threats of retaliation, if the country joins NATO, this is the case. Vladimir Putin warned last month that joining the alliance would have’serious military and political consequences’ if Finland and Sweden were to join.
‘It is obvious that Finland and Sweden’s joining NATO, which is a military organization in the first place, would have serious military and political consequences requiring us to revise the entire range of relations with these countries and take retaliatory measures,’ Russian Foreign Ministry Second European Department Director Sergei Belyayev said in an Interfax interview.’ Finland has also detected GPS signal interference near Russia’s Kaliningrad enclave and the country’s eastern border with Moscow earlier this year.
Finnair’s pilots reported seeing disturbances near Kaliningrad, which is located on the Baltic Sea’s east coast, between NATO members Lithuania and Poland. Other planes have reported strange GPS signal disturbances near Finland’s eastern Russian border, preventing them from landing at Savonlinna airport. In February, the Finnish capital received letters from Moscow demanding that future security of the Nordic nation be clarified.
At that time, the country was used to receiving letters from the Russian government seeking “consultations.” For decades, nothing has worked to persuade Finland or Sweden to join NATO, from 1947 to 1989 as well as the subsequent decades. However, a poll conducted in March found that after Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, public support for Finland joining NATO surged to record highs. Sixty-two percent of Finnish citizens supported the country’s application to join NATO.
Yle, Finland’s public broadcaster, commissioned the survey, which showed a rise from 53% in the previous poll released two weeks ago. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has been justified in part by NATO’s expansion to the east, which Vladimir Putin has demanded as a condition for Ukraine’s withdrawal from NATO. Out of concern that they would be drawn into a wider conflict with Russia, NATO countries have repeatedly refused requests from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to assist his country in its fight against Moscow’s invading forces.