- Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told Russia’s Vladimir Putin that Finland would seek NATO membership.
- President Niinistö initiated the phone call with President Putin, which took place on Saturday.
- Russia has previously warned against Finland joining NATO and threatened “retaliatory measures”.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö initiated a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, telling the Russian President that Finland would seek membership in order to join NATO.
Russia has previously warned against Finland joining NATO, threatening “retaliation” against the country and claiming Finland’s membership in NATO would be a threat to national security.
The phone call between Niinistö and Putin took place on Saturday, according to a press release from Niinistö’s office.
“The conversation was direct and straight forward and conducted without hassle. It was considered important to avoid tensions,” Niinistö said in the press release.
According to the press release, Niinistö reminded Putin that “every independent nation maximizes its security.”
The press release goes on to say: “This is also happening now. By joining NATO, Finland strengthens its own security and assumes its responsibilities. It is far from anyone.”
Finland’s President and Prime Minister on Thursday expressed their strong support for joining the military alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded by saying that Finland was “warmly welcomed into NATO”.
In his conversation with Putin, the Finnish president also reiterated “his deep concern about the human suffering caused by the war that Russia is waging in Ukraine,” according to the press release.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has pushed public support for NATO membership to an all-time high in Finland and neighboring Sweden.