Finland ready to join NATO without Sweden, sources say
If Turkey and Hungary ratify only Finland's NATO application, it will be ready to join the alliance without Sweden.
Despite the fact that Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin reaffirmed last week that Finland intends to join NATO alongside Sweden, high-level sources have revealed that all Finnish parties, bar one, are prepared for their country to go it alone.
Although Helsinki has indicated to the outside world that Finland and Sweden continue to see NATO membership as a common cause, the reality of things may be quite different.
Finland is prepared to join NATO without Sweden if Turkey and Hungary ratify only Finland's NATO application, according to the country's media, citing several high-level sources. "We have to admit the facts: we are Russia's neighbor. Sweden's geopolitical position is completely different from ours," one of the sources was quoted as saying.
According to the sources, Finnish negotiators reached an agreement with Turkey before Christmas, and the matter is thus in principle settled for Finland. Sweden's Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is said to have been informed.
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Only the Left Alliance party opposes Finland's joining NATO without Sweden, according to the sources, whereas the rest are prepared to make the move.
This is in stark contrast to official rhetoric: Only last week, during a visit to Stockholm, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin stated that Finland intends to finish its NATO journey the same way it began, with Sweden.
On the other hand, the Finnish public begged to differ, with a recent poll by pollster Taloustutkimus revealing that 53 percent of respondents were ready for their country to join NATO on its own. In comparison, nearly half of those polled (28%) said Finland should wait for Sweden.
Moreover, Turkey said it had not received signals from Finland about its readiness to join NATO without Sweden, but that it would consider such an application if one were to emerge.