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Vanhanen: Finland's Nato membership would boost stability in Baltic region

The speaker of parliament attended the spring session of Nato's Parliamentary Assembly in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Finland's Speaker of Parliament, Matti Vanhanen. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Finland's Speaker of Parliament, Matti Vanhanen (Cen), said that Finland's pending membership in Nato would increase stability across the Baltic region.

"We are confident that Finland's Nato membership would increase the stability of the Baltic Sea region and strengthen security in the transatlantic," he said, adding that Finland were "security producers, not consumers," and that the country's decision to join the alliance was not directed towards anyone in particular.

Vanhanen made the comments at the spring session of Nato's Parliamentary Assembly in Vilnius, Lithuania on Monday.

Finland and Sweden formally applied for Nato membership nearly two weeks ago. Before they are accepted into the alliance, all 30 of Nato's member states need to ratify the countries' applications.

Vanhanen was invited to the session along with his Swedish counterpart, Speaker of Parliament Andreas Norlén.

Vanhanen noted that Finland's decision to apply for Nato membership was not taken lightly.

"The decision was based on a careful analysis of the security environment, in a democratic process," he said, adding that its application had broad popular support in Finland.

The Nato session was originally planned to be held in Kyiv, but was moved to Vilnius due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Among other things, the session is meant to "demonstrate the Assembly’s unwavering, steadfast support for Ukraine and the Alliance’s resolve to deter against any threat to Nato members and to defend every inch of Nato territory," the alliance said in an outline of the session.