Finland says Russian nuclear threat is reason to join NATO

4 December 2022, 01:16 PM
Pekka Olavi Haavisto (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Pool)

Pekka Olavi Haavisto (Photo:REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/Pool)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised security alert levels in Europe, while Russia’s nuclear threats have prompted Finland to move to NATO, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said in an interview with the Japanese Kyodo news outlet on Dec. 4.

He explained that Moscow's nuclear threats have forced Finland to reflect on possible responses and sources of support if it was to be subjected to such rhetoric, considering that Finland shares about a 1,300 km border with Russia.

According to Haavisto, these considerations ultimately led Finland to apply for NATO membership status.

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The Finnish FM further called the recent Russian strikes on Ukrainian power infrastructure "very cruel”. as they left ordinary people without heating, power, and sewage systems, proving Russia's intent to kill Ukrainian civilians.

Haavisto also stressed the importance of nuclear safety even in times of war. He said that a major incident at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant (ZNPP) , the biggest nuclear plant in Europe, could be "one of the worst scenarios that can happen."

ZNPP, as well as other nuclear plants in Ukraine, have been disconnected from the power grid multiple times due to Russian attacks.

NATO officially invited Sweden and Finland to become member-states on June 29. The day before, Turkey, Finland, and Sweden came to an agreement where Ankara promised to not block these two country’s accession to NATO, in exchange for certain conditions.

28 NATO members have already ratified the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden, though Turkey and Hungary have yet to do so. All 30 NATO members must agree on membership for a country to join the alliance.

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