The former head of NATO advised Finland to join the bloc “right now”

Finland and Sweden should join NATO “right now” while Russia is “busy with other things,” ex-head of the alliance Rasmussen said

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Finland and Sweden should join NATO now while Russia is focused on a military operation in Ukraine. This was stated by the former head of the alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in an interview with CNBC.

“I think that the two countries have an opportunity to join [NATO] right now, because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is busy with other things. He can't do anything about it,” — emphasized Rasmussen.

At the same time, even if the application of Finland and Sweden is considered urgently, the process of joining NATO will still take “several months”, since it is necessary that the application pass all 30 parliaments of the participating countries, the former head of the North Atlantic Alliance warned.

He concluded that during this period, the bloc should ensure the security of the two countries, “as if they were already members of NATO.”

Now in NATO includes 30 countries, Finland and Sweden have the status of countries— block partners. An active discussion of the issue of their possible entry into the alliance began against the backdrop of a Russian special operation in Ukraine.

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Finland's entry into NATO would have “negative consequences for the stability of northern Europe.” Security Council Deputy Head Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would have to strengthen the grouping of ground forces on the border with the alliance and deploy the Navy in the Gulf of Finland.

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö called the “expected reaction” warnings of Russian officials about the consequences of the country's membership in NATO.

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