Russia’s call for guarantees against the NATO alliance expanding eastwards got a swift response from Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, who released a statement emphasising Finland’s “national room to manoeuvre”, including the possibility of military alignment and applying for NATO membership.
Niinistö referred to NATO as a stabilising factor in Europe and mentioned its “Open Door Policy” for new potential members, potentially including Finland.
Before Finland’s response, Putin suggested in a speech to foreign diplomats on 2 December in Moscow, that there be a deal where NATO would commit itself not to accept new Eastern members. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov repeated the proposal in a meeting with his American counterpart Antony Blinken.
Russia’s demand sounded to Finland like a return to old Cold War-era spheres of interest and a challenge to the cornerstone of Finland’s foreign, security and defence policy. Läs artikel