‘Everything changed when Russia invaded’: Finland and Sweden inch closer to seeking NATO membership

R&I – FS

LONDON — Finland and Sweden could both seek to join NATO in the coming weeks, warning Europe’s security landscape has “completely changed” in the aftermath of Russia’s onslaught in Ukraine.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Wednesday that the Nordic country, which shares a 1,300-kilometer border with Russia, would decide on whether to join the U.S.-led military alliance “within weeks.”

Finnish lawmakers are expected to debate the pros and cons of joining the 30-member alliance upon returning from their Easter break.

Speaking alongside Sweden’s Magdalena Andersson at a joint press conference in Stockholm, Marin said: “Everything changed when Russia invaded Ukraine.”

“I think people’s mindsets in Finland, also in Sweden, changed and [were] shaped very dramatically because of Russia’s actions,” Marin said. “This is very clear and that caused a need for a process in Finland to have a discussion about our own security choices.”

Sweden’s Prime Minister Andersson echoed this view, saying there was “no point” in delaying analysis of whether it is right for Sweden to request NATO membership.

“I think as I have said so many times this is a very important time in history. There is a before and after the 24th of February. The security landscape has completely changed,” Andersson said.

“We have to analyze the situation to see what is best for Sweden’s security for the Swedish people in this new situation. And you shouldn’t rush into that, you should make it very seriously,” she added.

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Article URL : https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/13/russia-ukraine-war-finland-and-sweden-to-consider-joining-nato.html