Finland prepared for all scenarios with Russia in response to NATO bid: PM

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Finland is prepared to handle all scenarios when it comes to Russia’s response to its bid to join NATO, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV.

Although there is no “acute threat” from Moscow, Finland must ensure its borders are protected, she added.

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“We are prepared in different kind of scenarios. There is not any acute threat, for example, [there have been no] military threats against Finland or Sweden. But both of our countries decided to join NATO because of the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” Marin said.

“Finland has a long border with Russia, so of course we want to make sure that what is happening today in Ukraine would not happen in Finland.”

Finland and Sweden are currently waiting for Turkey and Hungary to ratify their accession into the alliance. All other 28 members of NATO have approved the bid.

Both Finland and Sweden scurried to become NATO members in May – dropping decades of military non-alignment – after neighboring Russia invaded Ukraine.

Marin told Al Arabiya that the delays were due to Turkey and Sweden not reaching an agreement yet.

“I have spoken briefly with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, and he has told us the same things that he has said also in public. [He said] there are no big problems with Finland. There are some issues that he wants to discuss with Sweden. But of course, we are in it together with Sweden and we are hoping that Turkey and Hungary will ratify as soon as possible,” she said.

Finland would also continue to push for an end to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Marin said, adding that the entire European region was reeling from the effects of the war.

“[The war] affects different countries in so many ways, so we need to make sure that the war ends. We are helping Ukraine every way we can by putting more heavy sanctions on Russia, making sure that Ukraine is provided with weaponry, [and] humanitarian aid,” the prime minister told Al Arabiya.

Preventing Russia’s energy ‘blackmail’

One of Finland’s current objectives is to try to mitigate the effects of the global energy crisis that has resulted from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the prime minister said in her interview, which was held on the sidelines of COP27 in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.

“We are working together in the European Union [to] make sure that we can cut the high energy prices.”

“That way [we can also] tackle Russia and not [give] it the leverage that it is using now to blackmail Europe with energy,” she said.

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