Finland is testing NATO waters with existing members

He said Finland had been very open about the radical change in Finnish public sentiment on the military alignment.

“We are very open about this and we hope [Nato countries] understand Finland’s situation and the discussions that are taking place here,” he said, adding that he believed that many countries were closely following the development of these national discussions.

Some 62% of respondents said they would support Finland’s application to join NATO’s military alliance, according to a Yle poll released on Monday.

When asked if he thought some members of the alliance would oppose a possible Finnish application for membership, he replied that “Finland is seen as a country that takes care of its own defence”. . He also noted that at a recent meeting of NATO defense ministers, Finnish delegates were on a “first name” basis with other attendees.

President Sauli Niinistö’s recent meetings in London and at the White House have signaled that the door to NATO is open.

Last week, Haavisto visited Turkey, a NATO state that also enjoys friendly ties with Russia.

Haavisto declined to speculate on Turkey’s reaction to any potential offer from Finland to join the military alliance.

“I think Turkey is working in close cooperation with the West and NATO,” he said, adding that Turkey had shipped drones to Ukraine.

This story is published on Independent Barents Observer as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.