UPDATE - Finland Likely To Decide On Joining NATO This Month - Prime Minister

UPDATE - Finland Likely to Decide on Joining NATO This Month - Prime Minister

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 07th May, 2022) Finland will decide on the country's accession to NATO this month, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Friday.

"We are now discussing whether we should become a member of NATO or not," Marin told Japanese news agency Nikkei Asia, adding that the country will likely make the decision this month.

Marin also called on China to join sanctions against Russia as it could be a crucial step toward ending the conflict.

"It is important that China condemns Russia's actions frankly, openly, and straightforwardly," she noted.

According to Marin, Finland itself will stop its dependency on Russian energy within a few months. The prime minister added that the current situation is pushing for the transition to "green" types of energy, such as wind or solar energy, the development of hydrogen energy, and other new technologies.

The interview was held ahead of Marin's visit to Japan next week, the news agency reported. Marin will discuss with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the future cooperation of the two countries, as well as the security situation in Europe and Ukraine.

Finland and Sweden started discussing the possibility of abandoning long-term neutrality and joining the alliance amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine. The head of the alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said in early March that NATO will gladly welcome Finland and Sweden and will provide them with the opportunity to quickly join the alliance.

The two countries have been expected to file their membership applications in the coming months.