Finns vote to leave Sweden behind in quest of NATO membership

A majority of 53 percent of Finns has voted, not to wait for Sweden in the quest of NATO membership. Only 28 percent voted to wait.

The two Nordic countries sought NATO membership shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year. While most member-states have backed the applications, Turkey has yet to give its approval.

“Our position on Finland is positive, but it is not positive on Sweden,” Turkish President Erdogan has said.

Turkey’s different view on Finnish and Swedish membership is putting pressure on Finnish leaders to leave Sweden behind. An option the Finnish political leadership has so far declined.

Still, the Finnish parliamentary groups are expected to discuss, whether the country shall proceed ahead of Sweden, due to the growing support among the Finnish public to go alone.

If the Finnish parliament votes in favor of approving the treaties, as it is expected to do, the president must proceed with the application within three months. This could well lead to proceeding with the NATO membership without Sweden.

For that to happen, Turkey and Hungary need to indorse the Finnish membership and NATO needs to officially invite Finland as a member.

Finland’s Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Poysti has said, that the process provides Finland with some room to wait for Sweden, but not endlessly.

Officially, Finland has reaffirmed several times, that it wants to join NATO with Sweden.

Sweden is Finland’s closest defense ally. In case of a conflict with Russia, NATO will need Swedish territory to help Finland defend itself.


About Miabell Mallikka

Miabell Mallikka is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Miabell Mallikka

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