Finland to apply for NATO membership ‘within weeks’ despite Russian warnings of ‘destruction’

According to the former prime minister, Finland is only a few weeks away from applying to join NATO, despite Russian warnings that this would ensure “the destruction of their country.”

Alexander Stubb, who headed the government of the Scandinavian country in 2014 and 2015, said that they could decide to join the military alliance as early as May.

He said Axios: “There was this good-faith attempt to have a working relationship with Russia, and now that people see that it’s impossible – especially under Putin – they’ve changed their minds.”

Stubb dismissed the Russian threats as saber-rattling, but acknowledged that there would “obviously” be a surge in cyberattacks from the Kremlin.

But Russian MP Vladimir Dzhabarov said this week that it was unlikely “the Finns themselves would sign the card for the destruction of their country,” threatening a repeat invasion of Ukraine that was fueled in part by its desire to join NATO.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov added yesterday that if Finland and Sweden join NATO, then Russia will have to “rebalance the situation” with its own measures in yet another thinly veiled warning.

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Alexander Stubb (Pictured) Said The Scandinavian Country, Which Shares An 830-Mile Border With Russia, Could Decide To Join A Military Alliance As Early As May.

Alexander Stubb (Pictured) Said The Scandinavian Country, Which Shares An 830-Mile Border With Russia, Could Decide To Join A Military Alliance As Early As May.

Alexander Stubb (pictured) said the Scandinavian country, which shares an 830-mile border with Russia, could decide to join a military alliance as early as May.

Russia Has Threatened Finland With The Same Response As The Horrors That Ukraine Will See If It Tries To Join Nato.

Russia Has Threatened Finland With The Same Response As The Horrors That Ukraine Will See If It Tries To Join Nato.

Russia has threatened Finland with the same response as the horrors that Ukraine will see if it tries to join NATO.

View Of A Residential Building Destroyed By Shelling In Ukraine, Which Russia Threatened Finland With

View Of A Residential Building Destroyed By Shelling In Ukraine, Which Russia Threatened Finland With

View of a residential building destroyed by shelling in Ukraine, which Russia threatened Finland with

But Stubb said: “I said at the beginning of the war that Putin’s aggression would force Finland and Sweden to apply for NATO membership.

“I said that it was not a matter of days or weeks, but months. Time to reconsider: Finland will apply within a few weeks, no later than May. Sweden to follow, or at the same time.

Polls show majority support in Finland for joining the alliance, which rose 34 points in a few months to 62 percent.

Stubb said: “I think Finns are driven by what I call rational fear at the moment.

“You have to balance between realism and idealism. The realism is that you have a strong standing army like we do, and the idealism is that you try to cooperate with a big neighbor.

“We have lived next to Russia throughout our existence. We know how to deal with Russia.”

The prospect of Finland and Sweden joining NATO was part of a discussion between the foreign ministers of the military alliance in Brussels this week.

56334699 10698857 Vladimir Dzhabarov From Russia S Upper House Said Finland Joinin A 6 1649405281983

56334699 10698857 Vladimir Dzhabarov From Russia S Upper House Said Finland Joinin A 6 1649405281983

Vladimir Dzhabarov of the upper house of the Russian parliament said that Finland’s accession to NATO would require the “destruction of their country”.

An Elderly Woman Gestures In Front Of A Destroyed Building In The Village Of Obukhovichi In Northern Ukraine.

An Elderly Woman Gestures In Front Of A Destroyed Building In The Village Of Obukhovichi In Northern Ukraine.

An elderly woman gestures in front of a destroyed building in the village of Obukhovichi in northern Ukraine.

A Resident Is Looking For Things In An Apartment Building Destroyed During The Fighting Between Ukrainian And Russian Troops On Borodyanka

A Resident Is Looking For Things In An Apartment Building Destroyed During The Fighting Between Ukrainian And Russian Troops On Borodyanka

A resident is looking for things in an apartment building destroyed during the fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops on Borodyanka

The Russian Retreat From The Cities Near Kiev Has Revealed Dozens Of Civilian Casualties And A Full Picture Of The Devastation Caused By Russia'S Failed Attempt To Capture The Ukrainian Capital.

The Russian Retreat From The Cities Near Kiev Has Revealed Dozens Of Civilian Casualties And A Full Picture Of The Devastation Caused By Russia'S Failed Attempt To Capture The Ukrainian Capital.

The Russian retreat from the cities near Kiev has revealed dozens of civilian casualties and a full picture of the devastation caused by Russia’s failed attempt to capture the Ukrainian capital.

“Obviously it will be the choice of these countries,” the official said, informing reporters on condition of anonymity.

“The doors of the alliance remain open and there has been discussion about this potential nominee,” the official said.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told reporters earlier that in the coming weeks Finland would clarify the next steps regarding a possible decision to join NATO.

Senator Dzhabarov of Russia’s upper house said Finland’s accession to the pact would be “a terrible tragedy.”

He said: “If the leadership of Finland goes for it, it will be a strategic mistake.

“The target will be Finland, which has been successfully developing all these years thanks to close trade and economic ties with Russia.

‘I think that it’s [would be] a terrible tragedy for the entire Finnish people.”

The senator added that it is unlikely that “the Finns themselves will sign the card for the destruction of their country.”

The Threat Made It Clear That Russia Could Carry Out Similar Attacks In Finland, As Is Happening In Ukraine.

The Threat Made It Clear That Russia Could Carry Out Similar Attacks In Finland, As Is Happening In Ukraine.

The threat made it clear that Russia could carry out similar attacks in Finland, as is happening in Ukraine.

A Man Walks Past A Building Damaged By Shelling In Chernihiv, Ukraine, As Russia Threatens Similar Destruction In Finland.

A Man Walks Past A Building Damaged By Shelling In Chernihiv, Ukraine, As Russia Threatens Similar Destruction In Finland.

A man walks past a building damaged by shelling in Chernihiv, Ukraine, as Russia threatens similar destruction in Finland.

Rescuers Remove Rubble From A Residential Area On Borodyanka, Which Has Become One Of The Heaviest Attacks In Ukraine.

Rescuers Remove Rubble From A Residential Area On Borodyanka, Which Has Become One Of The Heaviest Attacks In Ukraine.

Rescuers remove rubble from a residential area on Borodyanka, which has become one of the heaviest attacks in Ukraine.

Members estimate that approval of the application will take between four months and one year.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin said earlier this week: “Both joining (NATO) and not joining is a choice that has consequences.

“We need to assess both the short-term and long-term implications. At the same time, we must keep our goal in mind: to keep Finland and the Finns safe in all situations.”

Marin added that Finland’s relations with neighboring Russia have changed irreversibly since the attack on Ukraine, and “it takes a lot of time and effort to restore trust.”

Finland shares a 830-mile border with Russia, the longest border of any member of the European Union.

Militarily, it has remained non-aligned, so it has not been involved in wars or conflicts since the end of the Cold War for fear of provoking Moscow.

Earlier, Haavisto said that Russia’s actions in Ukraine “completely changed the security situation in Finland.”

He said Kyodo News that Finland should be prepared for “more negative military scenarios”.

Last month, a Russian politician warned of “serious military and political consequences” if Finland and Sweden joined the alliance.

This was stated by the director of the Second European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergei Belyaev. Interfax: “Obviously, the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, which is primarily a military organization, will have serious military and political consequences that require use to review the entire range of relations with these countries and take retaliatory measures.”

Soldiers Of Pro-Russian Troops Inspect The Streets During The Ukrainian-Russian Conflict In The Southern Port City Of Mariupol.

Soldiers Of Pro-Russian Troops Inspect The Streets During The Ukrainian-Russian Conflict In The Southern Port City Of Mariupol.

Soldiers of pro-Russian troops inspect the streets during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol.

A Woman Shows With Her Hand A Shell Crater And Destroyed Houses On The Outskirts Of Ivankov, Kiev Region.

A Woman Shows With Her Hand A Shell Crater And Destroyed Houses On The Outskirts Of Ivankov, Kiev Region.

A woman shows with her hand a shell crater and destroyed houses on the outskirts of Ivankov, Kiev region.

A Russian-Backed Soldier Rests While Inspecting The Streets Of The Besieged Port City Of Mariupol.

A Russian-Backed Soldier Rests While Inspecting The Streets Of The Besieged Port City Of Mariupol.

A Russian-backed soldier rests while inspecting the streets of the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Last month Finland also found interference with passenger aircraft GPS signals near the Russian Kaliningrad enclave and the country’s eastern border with Moscow.

Finnish airline Finnair said its pilots spotted unrest near Kaliningrad, which is sandwiched between NATO members Lithuania and Poland on the east coast of the Baltic Sea.

Other aircraft reported unusual interference in GPS signals near Finland’s eastern border with Russia, with aircraft unable to land at Savonlinna Airport due to interference.

In February, Helsinki also received letters from Russia demanding clarity on the future of the Scandinavian country with regard to security.

Then Haavisto said Time the incident “reminded (him) of the Cold War” when the country became accustomed to “a similar Russian letter asking for ‘consultations’.”

So far, nothing could convince Finland or Sweden to join NATO throughout the Cold War from 1947 to 1989 and the following decades.

But in March, it emerged that Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine had boosted public support in Finland for joining NATO to a record high, according to a poll.

A total of 62 percent of respondents in Finland supported their government’s bid to join NATO.

According to a poll commissioned by the Finnish public broadcaster Yle, that’s up from 53 percent in the same poll published two weeks ago.

Later that month another poll from the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat also suggested that the majority of the nation is in favor of joining NATO, with 54 percent responding that they would support this decision.

In neighboring Sweden, a similar recent poll showed that there are more supporters of NATO membership than opponents.

Vladimir Putin used NATO’s eastward expansion as one of several justifications for his brutal war and demanded Ukraine’s neutrality as a condition for exit.

Meanwhile, NATO countries have repeatedly denied Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky requests for direct assistance to his country against Moscow’s invasion forces out of fear of being embroiled in a wider conflict with Russia.

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