The Russian aggression against Ukraine has prompted Helsinki to consider joining NATO. According to Pekka Haavisto, the Finnish Foreign Minister, the country wants to join the Alliance as soon as possible.
The Finnish minister said that the whole world has been captivated by the events happening in Ukraine. He mentioned all the disasters that the Russian invasion has been causing “all the suffering and all the loss of lives.”
He also stated that Finland has been monitoring Russia’s reaction to their decision to join NATO. He emphasised that joining the Alliance would allow more troops to be stationed on their border with Russia which would become one of NATO’s easter borders.
The head of the Finnish Foreign Ministry also said that for years Finland has been trying to cooperate with Russia in various ways stemming from environmental issues to arctic issues. However, “it was a big disappointment what Russia did against Ukraine, it has been cutting many of these ties,” Mr Haavisto said.
He added that he was very saddened by Russia’s invasion, especially because it happened under the guise of a military exercise. “And suddenly the military exercise turned to an attack against Kyiv, against the capital of the country and tried to change the government there,” the foreign minister said.
Pekka Olavi Haavisto concluded the interview by explaining the timeframe of the process of joining NATO. He said that on Finland's part it will take a couple of days but later on according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the approval process will take from four up to twelve months. “And of course, we would like that process to be as speedy as possible,” the minister emphasised.
Finland shares a 1340 kilometre border with Russia. Joining NATO and ratifying its fifth article, which states that an attack against one Ally is considered an attack against all Allies, will allow for the protection of the country.