Finland's ex-FM questions benefits of NATO membership-Xinhua

Finland's ex-FM questions benefits of NATO membership

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2022-02-08 22:38:17

File photo taken on Feb. 12, 2020 shows the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)

If Finland were a NATO member, it would become the primary front in a war between NATO and Russia, says Finland's former Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja.

HELSINKI, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Finland's former Foreign Minister and long-time Member of Parliament (MP) Erkki Tuomioja said he doubted that his country's possible North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership would strengthen its security.

Commenting on his new book "Finland and NATO" on Monday, Tuomioja raised the question of what in practice would NATO countries be willing to do to help Finland in the event of a war.

If Finland were a NATO member, it would become the primary front in a war between NATO and Russia, he said.

"I believe NATO would ultimately emerge as the winner and would show up as the liberator of Finland, but what would remain of us by that time, especially if nuclear weapons are used?" Tuomioja asked.

File photo taken on June 25, 2012 shows Finnish Foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja (L) and his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt talk prior to a EU Foreign Affairs Council three days before EU summer summit in Luxembourg. (Xinhua/Thierry Monasse)

According to him, it is not in the interest of either Finland or Russia to turn the 1,300-km border between them into a military conflict zone.

In his opinion, Finland should have the opportunity to apply for NATO membership, but now is not the time to do so.

According to national broadcaster Yle's report on Monday, a recent poll found that 45 percent of those surveyed would support Finland's application for NATO membership on condition that it is recommended by the nation's leaders.

Roughly one-third of the respondents opposed the idea and under one quarter were undecided.

Last December, Finland's Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her Swedish counterpart Magdalena Andersson said they had no plans to apply for NATO membership.

The Parliament House is lit up during the Lux Helsinki light festival in Helsinki, Finland, Jan. 5, 2022. (Photo by Matti Matikainen/Xinhua)


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