Finnish President Sauli Niiniste called Russian President Vladimir Putin and told him that the country intends to apply for NATO membership within the next few days. This was reported by the press service of the President of Finland.
During the conversation, Niiniste explained that Russia’s actions in recent months have raised Finland’s concerns about its security, in connection with which it was decided to start the procedure for joining the alliance. At the same time, the Finnish president noted that his country would continue to build good neighborly relations with Russia “in a correct and professional manner.”
Putin, according to the Kremlin press service, expressed confidence in the conversation that there were no threats to Finland’s security and that “abandoning the traditional policy of military neutrality would be a mistake.” Putin warned Niinista that joining NATO could have a negative impact on bilateral relations.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the level of support for the idea of joining NATO among the inhabitants of Finland, which had previously been estimated at a few percent, increased tenfold.
Finland and Russia have a common land border about 1,200 kilometers long.
Sweden is expected to apply for NATO membership together with Finland in the coming days.