Sunday. 19.05.2024

Finland's President Sauli Niinistö no longer sees the need for a referendum or an official opinion poll for his country to join NATO.

It is already clear that the majority of the population is in favour of the country joining the defence alliance, Niinistö said on Saturday in an interview with the public radio station Yle.

Until the end of last year, he had a different opinion on the matter, but that has changed in the meantime, the Scandinavian country's head of state said.

Niinistö stressed, however, that it was important for Finland to coordinate with Sweden on this issue and for the two countries to come to the same conclusion.

He had already discussed the matter several times with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, and further talks were pending, he said.

Niinistö himself has so far not taken a clear position on the question of Finland's NATO membership.

A debate in Sweden

According to recent polls, however, up to 62% of Finns are now in favour of their country joining NATO.

A debate has also ignited in Sweden. The government there, however, is still against membership.

Finland and Sweden are not yet members of NATO, but they are close partners in the military alliance.

Finland shares a 1,300-kilometre border with Russia, making it the EU country with the longest border with the aggressor in the war in Ukraine.

Finnish president: No referendum necessary to join NATO