In order to enter NATO as quickly as possible, the Finnish Parliament approved this Wednesday, March 1st by an overwhelming majority the NATO membership bill, thus ending the country’s diplomatic and military neutrality. . Helsinki still has to wait for the necessary ratifications by Turkey and Hungary.
With our correspondent in the region, Carlotta Morteo
The outcome of the vote was beyond doubt, but it marks a historic turning point. 184 votes for, 7 against: the Finnish deputies validated, in advance, the entry of their country under the umbrella of NATO.
Only a handful of far-left and far-right MPs objected, citing lack of assurance that no nuclear weapons will be placed on Finnish territory in the future. Namely that the current political consensus is radically opposed to it.
There ball is in Hungary’s court and Turkey, but it can then go very quickly: it will be enough for Finnish President Sauli Niinisto to ratify the legislation before the general elections scheduled for April 2, to prevent a potential political vacuum from delaying the process. What is beyond doubt: it was he himself who wanted all the technical obstacles to be removed before the ballot.
A poll published at the beginning of February indicates in any case that a majority of Finns want to join NATO without waiting for Swedenand nothing prevents it today.
Because Finland, bordering Russia, after having suffered a half a century of enforced neutrality by Moscow then three decades of non-alignment, is determined to turn the page.