Finland will decide soon whether to join NATO, PM says

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Finland and Sweden will be able to join NATO quickly, should they choose.

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Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin speaks during joint statements with her Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Maximos Mansion, in Athens, Greece, April 28, 2022. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Speaking in Athens on Thursday, Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said that her country would decide ‘soon’ on whether to join the NATO alliance and also urged more sanctions against Russian energy imports.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced Sweden and Finland to reassess their longstanding military neutrality, and they are expected to announce in May whether they will join the U.S.-led alliance.

“The parliament and the government of Finland together with the president will assess all the implications of the new security situation and will have to consider the question of whether to apply for membership of NATO,” Marin said after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “Decisions in this issue will be taken very soon.”

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that Finland and Sweden will be able to join NATO quickly should they decide to ask for membership in the Western military alliance.

The Finnish prime minister also urged for more effective sanctions against imports of energy from Russia.

Russia, with which Finland shares a 810-mile border, has said it will deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad if Finland and Sweden decide to join NATO.