ANI Photo | “It commits Finland to principle of collective defence”, says envoy on joining NATO

Stating that Finland joining the NATO military alliance reflects a “major shift” in its foreign and security policy, Finland Ambassador to India, Kimmo Lahdevirta emphasized that it signifies their commitment to the principle of collective defense.
He further highlighted Finland’s robust national defense capabilities, civil preparedness, and the fact that they allocate over 2 percent of their GDP to defense.
Speaking to ANI, he said, “Well, of course it was a major shift in our foreign policy and foreign security policy to be more precise. And really it commits Finland to the principle of collective defense where an attack against one or several member states of NATO is considered an attack against all. So the membership, of course includes a number of military and political dimensions and militarily…we are now part of the defense planning, exercises, procurement, and other systems of NATO”.
“Politically, of course, it has meant a deepening of the relationship between us and members of the alliance, especially. I would say that Finland brings to NATO some important assets, and we have strong national defense, also civil preparedness, and a crisis resilience. And we really nowadays use over well over 2 per cent of our GDP for national defense, which is…significant,” he added.
The Finland envoy also affirmed hope for the admission of Sweden in the NATO bloc, stating that the alliance is “not complete” without Stockholm.
“But I have to say that we feel strongly that our membership in NATO is not complete without Sweden. So we very much hope that Sweden could become a member as well as soon as possible, because that way, really, we can contribute together to the security of especially Northern Europe. But NATO as a whole,” Lahdevirta said.
Notably, both Finland and Sweden had applied for NATO membership together in May last year. Although, Finland became the member after ratification in April 2023, the membership of Sweden was blocked by Turkey.
Using veto power, Turkey had blocked Sweden’s membership alleging Stockholm of “supporting” Kurdish fighter groups. However, in July this year, Turkey changed its stance after a closed-door ahead of the NATO summit.

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