Earlier, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced their support for their country’s NATO entry, saying, “As a NATO member, Finland will work to strengthen the entire defense alliance and we hope that national steps that this decision still needs to be made will be made quickly “in the next few days”.
Speaking exclusively to “Sky News Arabia”, US State Department spokesman Samuel Warburg said: “Each country has the right to choose its own path and its own alliances, and joining NATO is a decision between the 30 NATO allies and the country that aspires to join it, and no one else can intervene in this matter.
He stressed that the administration of US President Joe Biden is committed to ensuring that NATO’s open-door policy remains available to countries aspiring to join when they are ready and able to fulfill their membership obligations. and contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic region.
Warburg noted that Finland and Sweden are close and important partners of the United States and NATO, adding: “We remain deeply committed to strengthening our bilateral defense and security cooperation.”
The State Department spokesman stressed that strengthening NATO defense cooperation is particularly important in light of European security concerns created by Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.
And the military operation launched by Russia in Ukraine caused a historic change in Finland’s positions on joining NATO, which began discussing this issue weeks ago, in a move that angered Moscow.
The Kremlin stressed on Thursday that Finland’s accession to NATO constitutes a “threat” for Russia, considering that Helsinki has decided to join the European countries that have adopted a hostile stance towards Russia.
As a result of those warnings, NATO’s Secretary General recently indicated that the allies would welcome Sweden and Finland into NATO smoothly and quickly.
Finland remained neutral during the Cold War, in exchange for assurances from Moscow that Soviet forces would not invade its territory.
Finland remains one of the few EU countries that has not ended conscription or significantly reduced military spending, despite the end of the Cold War.
The country, with a population of 5.5 million, joined the European Union and maintains close collaboration with NATO, particularly in the area of intelligence and resource sharing.