Finnish President Souli Niinisto told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Saturday that his militarily non-military country shares a border and history with Russia. He said Finland would take a decision on whether to apply for NATO membership in the coming days. In a statement issued here, Niinisto’s office said that the Finnish head of state told Putin in a phone conversation how the security environment in Finland has changed drastically after Moscow’s attack on Ukraine on February 24.
According to the statement, he underlined Russia’s demand for Finland to stay away from NATO membership. It is noteworthy that NATO is a military alliance of 30 countries. Niinisto said, “The discussion with (Putin) was straightforward and clear. This conversation was without any exaggeration. Avoiding stress was considered important. It is noteworthy that Niinisto has been the President of Finland since 2012. He is one of the few Western leaders who have been in regular communication with Putin for the past 10 years.
Niinisto underlined that he had made it clear in his first meeting with Putin in 2012 that “every free country will enhance its security”. “By joining NATO, Finland will increase its security and will also take responsibility,” he said. It’s not something that’s different from anybody.”
He emphasized that Finland wants to continue the bilateral agreement with Russia in the future, despite NATO membership. will be associated with “in a professional manner”.
The statement did not mention any remarks made by Putin or the Kremillon. It is worth noting that Finland and Russia share a border about 1,340 km long. It is the longest border of any EU country with Russia.