Foreign minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) was a guest of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday morning to discuss Finland’s foreign and security policy and NATO intentions.
In his introduction, Haavisto stated that the war of aggression launched by Russia in Ukraine endangers the entire European security order and violates international law.
“The international community has responded strongly to Russia’s aggression. It has been crucial in recent months. ”
Haavisto stated that war crimes must be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. In his view, Ukraine must be supported without sparing any effort.
Haavisto stated that there is no immediate military threat to Finland. He pointed out that Finland’s co-operation with NATO is close and wide-ranging.
“In recent months, public support for Finland’s NATO membership has increased, and it is now about 70 percent.”
Haavisto stated that Russia has become unpredictable. It has talked about the use of nuclear and chemical weapons. Russia does not respect any rules of warfare.
Haavisto also said that Russia will be able to mobilize up to one hundred thousand soldiers at the borders of its neighboring countries, without the mobilization of reservists.
Haavisto stated that if Finland decides to join NATO, the decision would strengthen the security and stability of the Baltic Sea region.
“Finland would further strengthen NATO. From NATO’s point of view, Finland has a strong and credible national defense that is compatible with NATO. We are convinced that Finland will bring added value to NATO. ”
Haavisto attended the committee meeting remotely.
Support from MEPs for Finland
Many MEPs warmly welcomed Finland to join NATO.
“On behalf of the Green Group, I welcome the desire of your government to join NATO. It is good for your country and for all of us,” German Green MEP Reinhard Butikofer stated.
“Congratulations on your solution. Hopefully Sweden will move in the same direction. It would be good for the process to take place in parallel, ”says a Polish Conservative MP Anna Fotyga stated.
Gravel sounds were also heard.
“I hope that Finland and Sweden will make different decisions. Sweden has a different history with Russia. In Sweden, public opinion is also more divided than in Finland, ”says the Swedish MP from the left Malin Björk stated.
He called for a referendum and wondered why the NATO process needed to move forward quickly.