Finland to make NATO membership decision despite anti NATO sentiment in the country

Finland will make a decision on whether to apply for NATO membership in “weeks rather than months”, its prime minister has said.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin, speaking on Wednesday, said she was keen to build a consensus to join the alliance within the Finnish parliament.

Commentators in Eastern Europe have suggested that Finland has been subject to intense US pressure for Finland to make NATO membership.

But the sentiment within Finland is heavily divided. The Finns enjoy a ‘good relationship’ with its Russian neighbours and sentiment within the country suggests most people feel this will provoke Russia.

Finland to make NATO membership

She emphasised there was no fixed timetable but that “everything had changed with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine“.

“I think it will happen quite fast,” said Marin. “It will happen in weeks, not months.”

“All the parliamentary groups and also the president will have the opportunity to make the decision in the upcoming weeks.”

Marin was in Stockholm to meet with her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson and discuss the issue of joining the transatlantic military alliance.

Until now, both Helsinki and Stockholm have shied away from joining NATO, but the war in Ukraine has forced an urgent rethink.