Tuesday. 26.09.2023

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö has criticized demands from Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO limits its expansion in Europe, meaning no new members should be allowed to join.

"We want to be allowed to decide for ourselves whether we join a security alliance," Niinistö told an interview with Die Zeit newspaper to be published on Thursday.

This is "a core issue of [Finland's] national sovereignty" and the Russian demand puts this sovereignty into question.

Niinistö also called on the European Union to take responsibility, saying that if the EU is a real union, it must respond as a whole.

Finland is not a NATO member, but a close partner of the alliance. The country has often debated whether it should join the group.

Finland insists on its right to join NATO and criticizes Russia