Finland will not join NATO without Sweden

Finland will not join NATO without Sweden, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said at a news conference Sunday with the NATO Secretary-General. Jens Stoltenberg visited Finland and will visit Sweden today.

“I say the Swedish cause is ours. That means we will go forward hand in hand,” Niinistö said.

Helsinki and Stockholm are applying to join the alliance on 18 May. All members must approve and ratify the accession of a new NATO member, but Turkey has opposed the accession of these northern European countries. Ankara is unhappy with the fact that both countries have granted asylum to members of organizations recognized as terrorists in Turkey – such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – and are not extraditing them at the request of the Turkish side. In addition, Sweden and Finland have imposed sanctions on Ankara following a large-scale Turkish military operation in Syria’s border areas several years ago.

Stoltenberg told a news conference that the Allies would take into account the concerns of all countries, including Ankara when considering applications from Helsinki and Stockholm. “That is why I remain in close contact with you, Sauli, and your colleagues, with Sweden and with our ally Turkey on this issue. My team is also in close dialogue with officials from all three countries to resolve legitimate Turkish issues and continue. with your entry into our alliance, “he told the Finnish leader.

US President Joe Biden spoke in favor of the two countries’ rapid accession to the alliance. He backed Stoltenberg’s efforts to resolve the dispute but stressed the need to take into account the security interests of all allies.

Commenting on Turkey’s objections, French leader Emmanuel Macron said it should “respect the sovereign choice” of the alliance’s candidates and expressed hope that the issue would be resolved quickly.

Stoltenberg rejects the idea that the summit in Madrid on June 28-30 is the deadline for the accession of Sweden and Finland.

Niinisto said at the same press conference yesterday that Turkey’s objections to his country’s accession to NATO came as a surprise to him. “I was surprised by Turkey’s position, but we must take seriously the issues it is concerned about. Hopefully, we will find a solution that will satisfy everyone,” he said.

Finland strengthens its border with Russia

Finland plans to build new fences in several places along its border with Russia because of the increased risk of hostilities and hybrid attacks, after applying for NATO membership in May.

Helsinki fears, in particular, that Moscow will use migrants to exert political pressure, similar to Belarus’s hybrid attack on Poland last autumn.

the Finnish cabinet on Thursday unveiled a bill to strengthen fences along the nearly 1,300-kilometer-long border.

The government wants the law to take effect as soon as possible to protect against possible Russian “hybrid retaliatory measures” such as cyber-attacks and non-military destabilization operations, AFP reported.

“The purpose of this bill is to improve the ability of border guards to respond to hybrid threats,” Ann Ihanus, an adviser at the Finnish Interior Ministry, told the agency. She stressed that “the war in Ukraine has contributed to the urgency of this issue.”

Currently, there are low wooden fences on the borders of Finland, designed to prevent the passage of livestock, reminds BTA.

“What we want to build now are strong structures that are real barriers,” said Sana Palo, Finland’s director of Finnish border guards for legal affairs. She clarified that “in all likelihood, the fences will not cover the entire eastern border (of Finland), but (only) the places considered most important.”

The aim of the Finnish government is, in the event of an influx of migrants, to concentrate people in certain places, and sparsely populated areas.

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