April 18. 2024. 12:39

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Finland denies rumours of joining NATO without Sweden

Finland will not join the NATO alliance without Sweden, the country’s political leadership said in response to the growing speculationsand rumours about Finland going it alone.

However, Finland aims to join NATO together with Sweden before the Vilnius summit in July, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green), who met his Swedish counterpart in Espoo, said on Tuesday, noting that all other options are “speculative”.

On the side of Sweden, Foreign Minister Tobias Billström said he considered it inappropriate to comment on Finland’s decisions.

The foreign minister’s position was also echoed by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at a press conference with Canada’s Governor-General Mary Simon in Helsinki.

The ”goal is for Finland and Sweden to be accepted as soon as possible,” he said.

”It would be good to be open about this dilemma, not sweep it under the carpet and just keep repeating that we wish to join with Sweden. That’s what we surely want, but the issue is not entirely in our own hands. Presumably, some people are afraid that saying it aloud makes it more probable,” Halla-aho added.

Former long-time Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen (SDP) also commented on the situation.

”Responsible for a positive outcome is NATO’s biggest member, the US. It is pointless to carry on a ratification dance with Turkey,” Lipponen wrote.

(Pekka Vänttinen | EURACTIV.com)