Finland ‘highly likely’ to join Nato after Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, minister says

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Finland's Minister of European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen (AFP via Getty Images)
Finland's Minister of European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen (AFP via Getty Images)

Finland is “highly likely” to join Nato after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, its Europe minister has said.

Tytti Tuppurainen, 46, said the Finnish people “have already made up their mind” to join the international military alliance.

"At this point I can say that it is highly likely, but the decision is not yet made," Ms Tuppurainen said.

"The people of Finland, they seem to have already made up their mind and there is a huge majority for the Nato membership."

The Finnish politician added Russia’s “brutal” war in Ukraine is a “wake up call to us all”.

"Not only to us Finns, it has to do with the whole security border in Europe," she said.

The Russian invasion has encouraged states such as Finland and Sweden to consider membership amid security fears.

But Russia has threatened to deploy nuclear weapons to the Baltics should either country join Nato.

The Kremlin warned a decision by the Nordic states to join the military alliance would have “the most undesirable consequences”.

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, said the country would move to strengthen its land, naval and air forces in the Baltic Sea if they joined.

He also said there could be no more talk of a “nuclear-free” Baltic region where Russia has its Kaliningrad exclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

The former Prime Minister of Finland Alexander Stubb previously said the Nordic nation could decide to join Nato as soon as May.

Mr Stubb, who headed Finland’s government in 2014 and 2015, said: “In the beginning of the war I said that Putin’s aggression will drive Finland and Sweden to apply for Nato membership.

“I said it was not a matter of days or weeks, but months. Time to revise: Finland will apply within weeks, latest May. Sweden to follow, or at the same time.”

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