Finland Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the possibility of her country joining NATO was for the security of its citizens and has called for the international community to unite in stepping up sanctions against Russia. The announcement moves the Nordic nation, which shares an 800-mile border with Russia, one step closer to membership in the U.S.-led military alliance.
“If Finland makes this historical step it is for the security of our own citizens,” Marin told a news conference after holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. “Joining NATO will strengthen the whole international community that stands for common values.”
On Thursday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Finland joining the alliance would not contribute to more security.
“As we have said many times before, NATO expansion does not make the world more stable and secure,” Peskov told reporters. He added that Russia’s reaction would depend on NATO activity near its borders.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.
SHANNON LONGWORTH: WHILE RUSSIA CONTINUES ITS INVASION IN UKRAINE–TO THE SOUTH– IT ALSO SHARES 800 MILES OF BORDER WITH *FINLAND* TO THE NORTHWEST.
FINLAND HAS MAINTAINED A STABLE RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA FOR DECADES–UNTIL NOW. IT’S GETTING READY TO JOIN NATO…WITH ITS *PRIME MINISTER* LEADING THE CHARGE.
SANNA MARIN – JUST ONE NAME YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY.
SHE BECAME THE WORLD’S YOUNGEST LEADER WHEN SHE STEPPED INTO THE ROLE IN 2019.
A POLITICIAN FOR THE INSTAGRAM GENERATION. SHE’S POSTED PICTURES OF PASTA RECIPES AND HERSELF BREASTFEEDING.
IT’S A WAY TO GET FINLAND’S FIVE-POINT-FIVE-MILLION PEOPLE TO BUY INTO HER POLICIES INCLUDING RAISING THE COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE TO 18 AND EXTENDING PARENTAL LEAVE.
SHE ALSO CHAMPIONED LEGISLATION TO BENEFIT WOMEN AND LOW-INCOME FAMILIES–ALL PART OF HER PLATFORM AS A DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST.
BUT WITH YOUTH COMES RECREATIONAL URGES THAT MAYBE DON’T PLAY WELL IN THE PRESS…LIKE CLUBBING HOURS AFTER EXPOSURE TO A COVID CASE.
NOW, 35-YEAR-OLD MARIN FACES ONE OF THE MOST SERIOUS CHALLENGES: AN AGGRESSIVE AND WAR-MINDED NEIGHBOR.
SINCE THE RUSSIAN INVASION BEGAN IN FEBRUARY, PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR JOINING NATO IN FINLAND HAS LEAPT FROM AROUND 30-PERCENT TO NEARLY 80-PERCENT IN SOME POLLS.