The Fort Worth Press - Finland to announce NATO decision as Sweden holds key meet

USD -
AED 3.673016
AFN 71.737228
ALL 92.504722
AMD 387.156217
ANG 1.800157
AOA 848.359004
ARS 889.580927
AUD 1.508751
AWG 1.8025
AZN 1.703567
BAM 1.801999
BBD 2.016769
BDT 117.160363
BGN 1.801999
BHD 0.376468
BIF 2867.093564
BMD 1
BND 1.348689
BOB 6.901921
BRL 5.138719
BSD 0.998848
BTN 83.019118
BWP 13.570738
BYN 3.268807
BYR 19600
BZD 2.01336
CAD 1.36675
CDF 2810.00011
CHF 0.914499
CLF 0.032842
CLP 906.220468
CNY 7.241992
CNH 7.26126
COP 3864.74
CRC 512.092873
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 101.593956
CZK 22.705302
DJF 177.841249
DKK 6.87691
DOP 58.819736
DZD 134.383379
EGP 47.144437
ERN 15
ETB 57.390519
EUR 0.92175
FJD 2.26765
FKP 0.796099
GBP 0.78505
GEL 2.70968
GGP 0.796099
GHS 14.532639
GIP 0.796099
GMD 67.774965
GNF 8586.17036
GTQ 7.758787
GYD 208.974064
HKD 7.81284
HNL 24.683282
HRK 6.979956
HTG 132.795872
HUF 354.269684
IDR 16045
ILS 3.658575
IMP 0.796099
INR 83.05245
IQD 1308.425853
IRR 42075.000091
ISK 138.170072
JEP 0.796099
JMD 156.318238
JOD 0.708896
JPY 156.873999
KES 130.349572
KGS 87.955704
KHR 4074.261759
KMF 455.650128
KPW 899.999697
KRW 1366.349793
KWD 0.30701
KYD 0.832358
KZT 442.391855
LAK 21378.357212
LBP 89445.15594
LKR 299.212236
LRD 193.574997
LSL 18.479837
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.839913
MAD 9.963146
MDL 17.71963
MGA 4426.221956
MKD 56.774312
MMK 2097.572212
MNT 3449.999773
MOP 8.03796
MRU 39.739565
MUR 46.079845
MVR 15.459914
MWK 1731.791588
MXN 16.672615
MYR 4.709637
MZN 63.496955
NAD 18.480124
NGN 1468.150173
NIO 36.762335
NOK 10.5915
NPR 132.830884
NZD 1.633275
OMR 0.384669
PAB 0.998848
PEN 3.734095
PGK 3.881697
PHP 58.190296
PKR 277.863546
PLN 3.92215
PYG 7512.783895
QAR 3.641506
RON 4.586599
RSD 107.934675
RUB 91.625017
RWF 1313.493343
SAR 3.750603
SBD 8.475185
SCR 13.659033
SDG 600.999662
SEK 10.660099
SGD 1.349602
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.50094
SOS 571.000261
SRD 32.274498
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.740038
SYP 2512.529855
SZL 18.363661
THB 36.649681
TJS 10.767402
TMT 3.51
TND 3.11875
TOP 2.364801
TRY 32.224902
TTD 6.783065
TWD 32.229839
TZS 2596.949818
UAH 40.091215
UGX 3800.617312
UYU 38.439213
UZS 12698.207951
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.500745
VND 25471
VUV 118.72199
WST 2.803093
XAF 604.373704
XAG 0.032815
XAU 0.000428
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.754503
XOF 604.373704
XPF 110.701654
YER 250.349933
ZAR 18.41569
ZMK 9001.187991
ZMW 26.658682
ZWL 321.999592
  • SCS

    0.1300

    13.18

    +0.99%

  • BCC

    4.6500

    141.11

    +3.3%

  • GSK

    -0.0300

    45.12

    -0.07%

  • NGG

    -1.0300

    60.69

    -1.7%

  • RBGPF

    -1.8300

    55.21

    -3.31%

  • CMSC

    0.1200

    24.24

    +0.5%

  • VOD

    -0.0300

    9.33

    -0.32%

  • CMSD

    0.0000

    24.09

    0%

  • BCE

    -0.2200

    33.57

    -0.66%

  • RYCEF

    0.1020

    5.65

    +1.81%

  • RIO

    0.4300

    71.85

    +0.6%

  • AZN

    0.3600

    78.54

    +0.46%

  • RELX

    0.5300

    44.69

    +1.19%

  • BP

    0.3000

    36.72

    +0.82%

  • JRI

    0.0250

    11.395

    +0.22%

  • BTI

    -0.1100

    30.62

    -0.36%

Finland to announce NATO decision as Sweden holds key meet
Finland to announce NATO decision as Sweden holds key meet / Photo: © AFP

Finland to announce NATO decision as Sweden holds key meet

The Finnish government is expected to officially announce its intention to join NATO on Sunday, as Sweden's ruling party holds a decisive meeting that could pave the way for a joint application.

Text size:

Less than three months after Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine, the two Nordic neighbours look poised to reverse policies on military non-alignment dating back more than 75 years in Finland and over two centuries in Sweden

"Hopefully we can send our applications next week together with Sweden," Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Saturday.

The countries broke their strict neutralities after the end of the Cold War by joining the EU and becoming partners to NATO in the 1990s, solidifying their affiliation with the West.

But the concept of full NATO membership was a non-starter in the countries until the war in Ukraine saw public and political support for joining the military alliance soar in both countries.

Finland has been leading the charge, while Sweden appears anxious at being the only non-NATO country around the Baltic Sea.

Many Swedish politicians have even said their support is conditional on Finland joining.

Three days after publicly saying their country "must apply for NATO membership without delay", Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin are due to announce Helsinki's decision on whether to seek membership at a news conference at 1 pm (1000 GMT).

After a government council meeting, they are expected to submit a membership proposal to parliament on Monday.

On Saturday, the Finnish head of state phoned his Russian counterpart President Vladimir Putin to inform him of his country's desire to join NATO, in a conversation described as "direct and straightforward".

"Avoiding tensions was considered important," Niinisto was quoted as saying in a statement by his office.

But Putin responded by warning that joining NATO "would be a mistake since there is no threat to Finland's security", according to a Kremlin statement.

- No other choice -

According to recent polls, the number of Finns who want to join the alliance has risen to over three-quarters, triple the level seen before the war in Ukraine.

In Sweden, support has also risen dramatically, to around 50 percent -- with about 20 percent against.

The senior leadership of Sweden's Social Democrats, led by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, is due to meet on Sunday afternoon to decide whether the party should abandon its historic stance against joining, last reaffirmed at the party's annual congress in November.

A green light from the ruling Social Democrats would secure a firm majority in Sweden's parliament in favour of joining.

While the party's leading politicians have seemed ready to reverse the decision, critical voices within have denounced the change in policy as rushed.

But analysts say it is unlikely that the party will oppose the move.

"There will perhaps not be the same sense of urgency," as in Finland, defence researcher Robert Dalsjo, an analyst at the Swedish Defence Research Institute (FOI), told AFP.

"But the leaders in Sweden have realised that they really don't have another choice, once Finland has," he added.

NATO membership needs to be approved and ratified by all 30 members of the alliance.

While Finland and Sweden claim to have had favourable signals from Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his opposition.

Turkey's objections, directed in particular at Stockholm, focus on what it considers to be the countries' leniency towards the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is on the EU's list of terrorist organisations.

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he was ready to discuss the matter with both countries, as well as with other NATO nations.

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said he was "confident" of reaching an agreement with Turkey.

G.Dominguez--TFWP