Finland to submit petition to join NATO on Sunday

Helsinki. Finland’s president and prime minister yesterday said they were in favor of joining NATO “without delay”, an important step towards a Nordic country’s candidacy that will be announced in principle on Sunday.

Russia immediately reacted to this news and considered that it will be “without a doubt” a threat to it, in the words of the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

“The enlargement of NATO and the Alliance’s approach to our borders do not make the world or our continent more stable and secure,” Peskov told reporters.

The Finnish candidacy is a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine and will probably be followed by a similar demand from Sweden, expected in the coming days.

“Being a member of NATO would strengthen Finland’s security. As a NATO member, Finland would also strengthen the Alliance as a whole. Finland must be a candidate for membership without delay,” President Sauli Niinisto and the Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

The two officials have planned to give a press conference on Sunday on “decisions concerning Finland’s security policy”, which will be the time to make their request official.

The position taken by the two leaders marks the trend that the country will follow, which shares a 1,300-kilometre border with Russia to which it is linked by a painful past.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, made Finnish public opinion in favor of joining the Alliance.

Right now, 76% of the 5.5 million Finns are in favor of joining NATO, according to a poll published on Monday. Before the war in Ukraine this percentage was around 25 percent.

Finnish deputies will meet on Monday morning to study the government’s proposal and vote afterwards, House Speaker Matti Vanhanen said on television on Thursday.

Finland was a Russian province (1809-1917) and was also invaded by the Soviet Union in 1939.

UN reinforces pressure

The UN Human Rights Council approved yesterday in Geneva, by a large majority, launching an investigation into the atrocities attributed to Russian troops since they invaded Ukraine on February 24.

In an extraordinary session, the Council adopted the resolution by 33 votes in favor, 2 against (China and Eritrea) and 12 abstentions, which calls for an international commission to carry out an “investigation” into the serious human rights violations committed in various regions of Ukraine, to “call those responsible to account”.

At the same time, during a meeting of the Security Council convened at the request of France and Mexico, UN representatives demanded in New York this Thursday the cessation of bombing schools in Ukraine and denounced its use for military purposes.

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