STOCKHOLM, April 22. /TASS/. Finland will file a request to join NATO in the coming weeks, said Finnish parliament member Erkki Tuomioja, who is a deputy chair of the parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
"I see that Finland has a strong majority [supporting NATO membership] both in the society and in the parliament, and this means that Finland will send its membership bid to NATO in the coming weeks, this spring," Tuomioja was quoted as saying by Helsingin Sanomat.
According to the paper, the Finnish parliamentary committee for foreign affairs, led by its chief Jussi Halla-aho, paid a visit to Sweden’s capital Stockholm on Thursday. Committee members met with a number of Swedish politicians, including Parliament Speaker Andreas Norlen, Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Foreign Minister Ann Linde.
The Iltalehti newspaper reported earlier that the final decision on whether Finland should apply for joining NATO is expected in the first two weeks of May. Although Finland is not a NATO member, it is engaged in a close partnership with the organization. According to a latest survey by Ule, about 62% of Finns are in favor of joining the alliance.