Finnish President Sauli Niinisto on Monday thanked the U.S. for supporting Finland’s NATO membership after meeting with a group of visiting U.S. senators, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Niinisto officially announced Finland’s application for NATO membership on Sunday.
Apart from McConnell, the U.S. delegation also included senators Susan Collins, John Barrasso and John Cornyn.
China says new factors will add to bilateral ties as Finland seeks NATO membership.
Noting that China-Finland relations have always been very friendly, the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday said Finland’s application for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership will certainly bring new factors to China-Finland ties.
Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press conference when asked to respond to Finland’s decision.
Zhao reiterated China’s stance on the EU’s security issue, calling for respecting legitimate security concerns of all parties.
He highlighted the necessity for following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and putting in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture to realize the long-term peace and stability of the EU.
Finland’s president and the government’s foreign policy committee on Sunday took the official decision to start the process of the country’s application to become a member of NATO.
The Finnish parliament is expected to endorse the decision in the coming days. Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that his country might submit the application on May 18.
Finland will have to abandon its tradition of military neutrality once it joins NATO, as the organization is a military alliance.