Athens says it will ‘respect’ Finland’s decision to join NATO

Greece will respect Finland’s potential decision to join NATO, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday at a meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sanna Marin in Athens.

“I would like to reiterate that it is up to the people of Finland, and only the people of Finland, to make such an important choice. As far as I am concerned, Greece will respect the sovereign decision of the people of Finland, given our close cooperation within the EU, and of course the already long-standing partnership between Finland and the Alliance,” the Greek Premier said.

Marin stressed that a decision over joining NATO will be made “soon” having as an objective Finland’s permanent peace now and in the future. 

“Finland has established a credible national defence and – like Greece – we maintain a strong and modern army […] This is our message to our NATO partners: If Finland joins NATO, we will contribute to the security of the whole alliance,” Marin said. 

Earlier this week, Finnish foreign minister Pekka Haavisto told The Irish Times that Finland might apply to join NATO even without Sweden. 

“Currently, I think the mood in parliament, if you look at the majority of MPs supporting the decision, is that yes, it includes the possibility to go without Sweden,” Haavisto said. 

“It would be good to do the same things at the same time as Sweden, but that depends on Swedish decisions. It is too early to guess the date, but I think before the summer, we are proceeding.”

At a press conference with Mitsotakis, the Finnish leader also backed stricter sanctions against Moscow, targeting energy imports.

“It is crucial to accelerate the green transition, to increase renewable energy sources – something we must do in any case to tackle climate change […] We now need massive investment in both clean energy production and European energy interconnections,” she concluded.

Source: Euractiv.com

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