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Savola: Finland could join NATO ahead of Sweden

AP Archive

(18 Feb 2023) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: ASSOCIATED PRESS Munich - 18 February 2023 1. Finnish Defence Minister Mikko Savola during interview 2. Close of Savola 3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mikko Savola, Finnish Defence Minister: We are not worried about the security situation in Finland. We have a strong (Finnish) Defence Forces, we have a common conscription army, we have wartime strength, which is 280,000 soldiers and 95% of them are reservists and we are training the reservists now every year. 4. Close of Savola's hands 5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mikko Savola, Finnish Defence Minister: We know our neighbour (Russia). We haven't changed our defence line in the past decades. We have this common conscription and it is our insurance in Finland. Even in the future when we are the NATO members. 6. Close of pin 7. SOUNDBITE (English) Mikko Savola, Finnish Defence Minister: “We (Finland and Sweden) have a very, very close cooperation. Cooperation, almost every week our defence forces are practising together and so on. And it's very deep, deep cooperation. And we also trust fully each other. But it's on Turkey's hands now. Like, will they ratify our application first, or will they do it at the same time? 8. Savola speaking 9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mikko Savola, Finnish Defence Minister: (AP journalist asking question: if Turkey decide to go along with Finland only, there wouldn't be any reason from the Finnish perspective to hold back and say, no, no, let's wait for Sweden?) Savola: No, no. Then we will join. 10. Close of hands 11. Wide of Savola speaking STORYLINE: Finland’s defence minister implied his country will join NATO once all alliance members have given their approval, and not wait for Sweden if its accession is held up by the Turkish government. Mikko Savola told The Associated Press on Saturday that Finland prefers to join the alliance together with its Nordic neighbour but wouldn’t hold up the process if Turkey decides to approve Finland, but not Sweden, as it has warned. “No, no. Then we will join,” Savola said in an interview on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. Savola said the decision was in Turkey's hands now, despite the deep cooperation and partnership Finland has with Sweden. Since they broke with decades of non-alignment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, Finland and Sweden have insisted they want to join NATO together. But Turkey’s reluctance to accept Sweden unless it steps up pressure on Kurdish exile groups has made it more likely the two will have to join the alliance at different speeds. Speaking at a panel discussion at the conference in Munich, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said it was in the interest of us but it’s also in the interest of NATO that Finland and Sweden join simultaneously. All NATO countries but Turkey and Hungary have already given the Nordic countries the green light to join the alliance. Savola said he hopes Finland will become a member of the alliance before a NATO summit in July. “We are not worried about the security situation in Finland,” Savola said, noting Finland has a conscription army with a wartime strength of 280,000 soldiers, 95% of them reservists.   AP Video shot by: Pietro De Cristofaro =========================================================== Clients are reminded to adhere to all listed restrictions and to check the terms of their licence agreements. For further assistance, please contact the AP Archive on: Tel +44(0)2074827482 Email: Find out more about AP Archive: Twitter: Facebook: ​​ Instagram: You can license this story through AP Archive:

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Keräyksessä Suomen Nato-jäsenyysprosessi 2022-2023


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