Finnish minister says it's 'highly likely' that the country joins NATO

Finnish minister says it's 'highly likely' that the country joins NATO
Finland Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen speaks with the media as she arrives for a meeting of EU General Affairs ministers at the European Council building in Luxembourg, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020.AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, Pool
  • Finland's minister for European affairs said it's "highly likely" the country joins NATO soon.
  • Tytti Tuppurainen told Sky News it still needs to be discussion in parliament.

Finland's Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen said on Friday that it is "highly likely" the country joins NATO amid ongoing discussions to pursue membership of the military alliance.

"At this point I can say that it's highly likely, but the decision is not yet made," Tuppurainen told Sky News when asked about the likelihood of joining NATO.

She said the Finnish people have already made up their mind and are supportive of joining NATO, but that it will still need to be discussed in the country's parliament.

Tuppurainen added that Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine has been a "wake-up call" to European security, and said the whole continent needs to respond to President Vladimir Putin's aggression.

On Wednesday, the prime ministers of Finland and Sweden held a joint press conference where they offered indications that they will both pursue NATO membership in the near future.


The two northern European countries have been militarily unaligned, but are now expressing security concerns.

"Everything changed when Russia invaded Ukraine," Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said at the press conference.

It's not immediately clear what the timeline for possible admission may be, though reports have indicated that the two countries may apply to join the alliance as soon as this summer.

Russia has threatened Finland and Sweden with "serious military and political" retaliation if they joined the 30-member alliance, including deploying nuclear weapons to the Baltic region — a largely empty threat because Russia is understood to already have those weapons there.

NATO and its expansion is one of the many topics that Russia has tried to use as justification for its war in Ukraine.