Finland and Sweden’s decision to join NATO is their sovereign choice and the European Union is ready to support its member states in the face of potential further Russian aggression, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola has said.
Finland’s leaders announced earlier today that it intended to join NATO, with Russia already warning it will take “military-technical” steps to respond to the decision. It has previously threatened nuclear action if Finland and Sweden join Nato.
However, Metsola was bullish in the face of the potential threats, championing European unity in the wake of the crisis.
“Putin did not, and will not, manage to divide us. His great mistake was assuming our differences were a weakness. On the contrary, we are now more united. He underestimated our resolve almost as badly as he underestimated the resilience and resistance of Ukrainians,” Metsola told Lovin Malta.
“Putin has accelerated the debate on security within the European Union by a generation. We are at risk and we must get closer together, raise our national defence contributions and use our common EU budget more efficiently.”
“The European Union also stands ready to support its Member States, if there is need. We have the necessary provisions e.g. in the mutual defence clause, art 42.7. of the Treaty. “
“Finland and Sweden are preparing to join the NATO, which is their sovereign choice. They are long-time NATO partners and will be security contributors in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea area.”
The mutual defence clause refers to an obligation for aid and assistance by “all the means in their power” to a member state that falls victim to armed aggression on its territory.
Finland shares a border with Russia and the Russian government has long been against the extension of NATO to its borders.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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