On Saturday, Finnish President Sauli Niinistö called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and told him that Finland plans to apply for NATO membership.
“The conversation was direct and straightforward and it was conducted without aggravations. Avoiding tensions was considered important. The phone call was initiated by Finland,” Niinistö said.
The Finnish president said that Helsinki “wants to take care of the practical questions arising from being a neighbor of Russia in a correct and professional way.”
On his part, the Russian president considered, during the phone call with his Finnish counterpart, that ending Finland’s military neutrality would be a “mistake”.
The Finnish president and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced on Thursday their desire to join the US-led NATO “without delay”, with the candidacy expected to be announced on Sunday.
Helsinki considers that the invasion of Ukraine, as well as Moscow’s demand not to expand NATO, justify changing its position.
Moscow threatened to take “technical-military” measures in response.
Electricity supplies from Russia to Finland were suspended on Friday night, following an announcement in this regard by the Russian supplier company, an official in the Finnish electricity network told AFP on Saturday.