Finland's parliament to debate seeking NATO membership in coming weeks

Helsinki must 'very carefully' analyze situation as it shares long border with Russia, says Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Finland's parliament to debate seeking NATO membership in coming weeks

The possibility of Finland joining the NATO military alliance will be debated in the country’s parliament in the coming weeks, said the nation’s prime minister on Wednesday.

Noting that there are different viewpoints on whether to seek membership or not, Sanna Marin told a joint press conference with her Swedish counterpart that Finland must "very carefully" analyze the situation.

“We have a long border with Russia, and we see how Russia is acting now in Ukraine," she said, referring to the ongoing war. "And of course, we have to wonder what is the best way to make sure that this wouldn't ever happen in Finland."

She added that the decision-making process will be "quite fast."

Before launching the war, Russia cited Ukraine joining NATO as a security threat, although the country's bid to join NATO was in very early stages.

Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Europe is facing a new security situation and that they will evaluate this situation and make a decision on NATO membership soon.

Earlier in the day, Swedish daily SvD claimed that Andersson plans to apply for NATO membership during its meeting in Madrid on June 29-30.

In previous years, both countries have said they are not considering joining NATO, but since the Ukraine war began on Feb. 24, opinion polls have found a majority of Swedes and Finns in favor of joining for the first time.

At least 1,892 civilians have been killed and 2,558 injured in Ukraine since the war started, according to UN estimates, with the true figure believed to be much higher.

More than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Hüseyin Demir