Finland state

No need for a referendum for Finland’s NATO membership, says President Niinisto

Neither an official opinion poll nor a referendum is needed for Finland to join NATO, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said on Saturday.

It is already clear that the majority of the population is in favor of the country joining the defense alliance, Niinisto said in an interview with public radio Yle. Until the end of last year he had a different opinion on the matter, but that has changed in the meantime, said the Scandinavian head of state.

Niinisto, however, stressed that it was important for Finland to coordinate with Sweden on this issue and for the two countries to come to the same conclusion. He had previously discussed the issue several times with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and further talks were ongoing, he said.

Niinisto himself has not yet taken a clear position on the question of Finland’s NATO membership.

However, according to recent polls, up to 62% of Finns are now in favor of their country joining NATO. A debate has also ignited in Sweden. However, the government there is still opposed to joining.

Finland and Sweden are not yet members of NATO, but they are close partners in the military alliance.

Finland shares a 1,300 kilometer (808 mile) border with Russia, making it the EU country with the longest border with the aggressor in the war in Ukraine.

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