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Finland’s president made a phone call with Putin to tell him the country was applying to join NATO

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Russian President Vladimir Putin.Frank Augstein/AP

  • Finnish President Sauli Niinistö told Russian Vladimir Putin that Finland would apply for NATO membership.

  • President Niinistö initiated the call with President Putin, which took place on Saturday.

  • Russia has previously warned against Finland joining NATO, threatening “retaliatory measures”.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö launched a phone call with Russian Vladimir Putin on Saturday, telling him that Finland would seek NATO membership.

Russia has previously warned against Finland’s NATO membership, threatening “retaliatory measures” against the country and saying Finland’s NATO membership would pose a threat to national security.

The call between Niinistö and Putin took place on Saturday, according to a press release from Niinistö’s office.

“The conversation was direct and direct and it passed without escalation. Avoiding tension was considered important,” Niinistö said in the statement.

According to the press release, Niinistö reminded Putin that “every independent nation maximizes its security.”

The statement continued: “This is what is happening now too. By joining NATO, Finland strengthens its own security and assumes its responsibility. It is not alienated from anyone else.”

Finland’s president and prime minister issued a strong statement on Thursday in support of joining the military alliance. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg responded by saying that Finland would be “warmly welcomed into NATO”.

During his call with Putin, the Finnish president also “reiterated his deep concern over the human suffering caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine,” according to the press release.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised public support for NATO membership to an all-time high in Finland and neighboring Sweden.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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