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Sanna Marin on Nato process: "I am very proud of the Finnish people"

Finland's Prime Minister praised the Finnish people and the political leadership for their cooperation throughout the Nato application process.

Pääministeri Sanna Marin puhui yleisölle SDP:n vaalitapahtumassa.
Sanna Marin pictured on the campaign trail in Vantaa on Friday. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle
Yle News

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has praised the Finnish people for their role in Finland's "historic" accession to the Nato alliance.

The last potential barrier to Finland's membership was removed late on Thursday evening when Turkey's parliament voted by 276-0 to ratify Finland's membership.

Speaking to Yle at an election event in Vantaa, Marin said that the ratification of Finland's membership application by the parliaments of all 30 current Nato member states is a huge achievement.

"Yes, this is a historic moment in many ways. I am also very proud of the Finnish people, the entire political leadership and the way we have been able to bring this process to the finish line together. This is a great moment," Marin stated.

The Prime Minister added that the people of Finland can be confident Nato membership will improve the nation's security.

"When Finland becomes a member of Nato, we will be protected by Article 5. Others will defend us and we will defend them. We act together and we defend each other," Marin said, adding that Finland will participate in all alliance activities as a full member.

"This will also require a lot of work from us, but we are ready for it. Finland is a very strong country in terms of defence. Our expertise is highly valued and we clearly meet all Nato criteria," she said.

Although there are still a few administrative steps left for Finland to take before becoming a full member of the alliance, Marin said she expects this to be finalised "very soon".

"The process in Finland is so far advanced, and the Parliament has already dealt with it, so it won't take long," Marin said.

Although Finland and Sweden applied to join Nato together last May, Hungary and Turkey are yet to ratify the Swedish application. Marin said she hopes Sweden will become a member as soon as possible, preferably before the alliance's summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on 11 and 12 July.

"It is of course in our interest and our common goal that Sweden is next," she said.

Haavisto: Finland could join by next week

Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) told Yle he received a late night call from his Turkish counterpart on Thursday.

"It was a moment of joy when the Turkish Foreign Minister called me at midnight to say that the Parliament had voted unanimously in favour of Finland's membership of Nato," he said.

Haavisto added that Finland could officially become a member of Nato as early as the beginning of next week.

"Turkey promised that the end of the process will go pretty smoothly. Now the wait is on for Turkey to complete its paperwork," the minister said.

The most significant change brought about by Nato membership, in Haavisto's view, is the protection that Finland will receive under the alliance's Article 5.

"Finland is militarily secure thanks to our own defence forces, but we are better protected against new threats as a member of Nato," he noted, adding that he also hopes Sweden will become a member as soon as possible.

"It is difficult to make defence plans in the Baltic Sea and Nordic regions without Sweden," Haaviso said.

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