Earlier this week, President Niinisto and the country’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said in a joint statement said they hoped “that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.”
The Reuters news agency reported on Saturday, that Niinisto called Russian President Vladimir Putin topersonally inform him of Finland's plans to join NATO.
“Putin said such a move would hurt Russian-Finnish relations,” Reuters added.
Finland, which borders Russia to the east, deepened its ties with the 30-member Western military alliance after Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, Polish private broadcaster Polsat News reported.
But it said the country has so far refrained from joining not to antagonize its giant neighbour.
Meanwhile, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Thursday that her country would take into account
Finland's NATO assessments when making its own decision on whether it should seek to join the Atlantic military alliance, the Reuters news agency reported.
The agency also quoted Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson as saying that she would go to parliament on Monday “to seek broad support for an application to join NATO, after her party dropped its long-standing opposition to membership in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.”
Poland's prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday welcomed a statement by Finnish leaders that their country should apply to become a member of NATO amid Russia's war against Ukraine.
"Poland supports Finland joining NATO as quickly and smoothly as possible," Morawiecki added.
Source: Reuters, PAP