(Belga) Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has rejected requests from Russian President Vladimir Putin who wants NATO to limit its expansion on the European continent. Moscow demands, in fact, that the transatlantic Alliance no longer extend to its borders.
“We want to be allowed to decide for ourselves whether we join a security alliance,” Niinistö said in an interview with German daily Die Zeit. This is a “central question for our national sovereignty”, according to him. The Russian request calls Finland’s sovereignty into question, he said. Mr. Niinistö also called on the European Union (EU) to assume its responsibilities. Affirming that if the EU is a true union, it should react in unison. Finland is not a member of NATO, but it is a close partner of the Alliance. The country has often expressed a desire to join the defense organization, as has Sweden. For its part, Russia has rejected any possibility of Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO, which it describes as a “national threat”. She has not yet officially decided on the possible membership of Finland and Sweden in the Western defense group, but she would probably not be in favor of it since she demands that NATO stop all expansion to its borders. (Belga)