“The process that will in time lead to our NATO membership is a sign of the workability of our political system,” said Anders Adlercreutz, the Chair of the Swedish Parliamentary Group, last Tuesday in a debate on the approval of Finland’s NATO membership.
“For a long time, applying for membership was inconceivable for most parties. But as the world around us changes, so do our views. The process that led to our NATO application demonstrates that today’s Parliament can still rally together in the face of critical issues ,” Adlercreutz says.
SFP has recommended NATO membership for Finland for many years, but the view was unpopular.
“When just under a year ago I encouraged the government to start the process aiming for NATO membership, I never thought we would be here now. But then I never thought we could have a war in Europe on the scale that we are now seeing. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not just changed the other parties’ opinions regarding NATO, it has changed our entire geopolitical reality. We must now ensure firstly that Ukraine wins the war and secondly that Finland’s application actually leads to membership,” Adlercreutz says.
Hungary and Turkey have still not ratified Finland’s NATO membership.
“Finland and Sweden will strengthen NATO. Turkey and Hungary are playing a cynical game that is not based on any genuine security concerns related to Finland or Sweden, which are stable, serious actors on the world stage. Failing to ratify our membership at a swift pace is in the interests of neither NATO nor those two countries,” says Adlercreutz.
Adlercreutz would like to emphasise that Finland is not under any direct threats.
“We know our defences are strong. The investments we have made in recent decades have been appropriate, so we don’t need to worry, even if the process becomes drawn out. We can cope, and our neighbours know that. What is important is that when the time comes we enter NATO together with Sweden. That is in everyone’s interests.”