Finland, producer of the F-35, will join NATO without referendum and without delay
Finland has finally opened its eyes to the threat they’re facing on their eastern border. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has made it once and for all clear to the Nordic nation that they’re sleeping with the enemy, but stoic and proud as they are, the Finns will not sit idle and they’re ready to finally do something about it.
Finland’s need to join NATO is clear now and that’s why they will seek membership with the alliance immediately and without any referendum. The country’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin spoke to her party last Saturday, detailing the need to finally decide to join the defense alliance.
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“Russia is not the neighbor that we thought it was,” Marin told her delegates of the Social Democrat Party (SDP) in Helsinki, urging the nation to expedite its membership with NATO “carefully but quickly” this spring. She added that “if the President or me feel strongly about it, that should be the end of the discussion”.
The Prime Minister said that it’s vital for Finland’s most central institutions to be part of the debate that’s still ongoing. The decision is very important not just for Finland and the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but for NATO as well. The Nordic country recently closed an order with Lockheed Martin for 64 block 4 F-35 Lightning fighter jets, this turns Finland into the third operator of the type in the region.
The most interesting part of this order is that Finland is the only nation aside from the United States cleared to manufacture parts for the F-35 and to perform the final assembly of new jets, which Finland will start with their own jets. These fighters will enter service with the Finnish Air Force sometime in 2026.
So, with Finland as a member of NATO, the alliance will have as ally a solid business partner and member of the production chain of one of NATO’s most popular fighter jets. The government of Finland understands that there will be consecuencias with Russia whether they’re members of NATO or not.
Vladimir Putin has warned Finland and Sweden against joining the alliance. Nonetheless, the invasion of Ukraine makes it clear that Finland’s sovereignty could be in danger anyway. So far, Marin hasn’t found any opposition by any of the countries around them from Finland joining NATO. The meeting in Helsinki was called to establish the position of the SDP delegates regarding NATOs membership.