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Who is Sanna Marin and what would be the consequences of Finland’s entry into NATO

Finnish Prime Minister challenges Moscow and asks to join the Atlantic Alliance

By Giulia Mossuto

Youth, dazzling smile, crystalline eyes and simple clothes are a breath of fresh air in this delicate situation of political-military balance, freshness that, however, does not cast a shadow to as many firm words: so Sanna Marin, first Finnish minister, presented itself to the cameras of the press conference held on Wednesday, May 18, next to Prime Minister Mario Draghi. Palazzo Chigi has in fact welcomed the very young premier following the request by Finland to want to join NATO - a request also made simultaneously by Sweden.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Sanna Marin (@sannamarin)

During the press conference, Draghi stressed that this request is "a clear response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the threat it poses to peace in Europe, to our collective security" and, consequently, can only follow a solid support from Italy.

As the prime minister herself said, the effects of Russian actions undermine the security of the European Union and Finland, affecting civilians and innocent people. The Finnish state has therefore emerged from its historical neutrality, putting an end to the desire for non-alignment of military contingents established by the 1948 Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the USSR and Finland.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Valtioneuvosto (@finnishgovernment)

The courage to challenge Moscow and the horrors of war (symbolic and significant, if we consider that the premier was raised by two mothers) can certainly not be missed by those who have already experienced horrors since childhood. Sanna Marin was not born at all with a shirt and since November 16, 1985 her life is only a long climb: the serious dependence of alcohol of her father in fact pushes her mother to run away from home and to provide for her very small daughter alone; Only one year old, Marin spends her birthday in a home for abused women. The commitment and concentration to make a career, however, are his faithful companions, who do not let her down from doing a thousand jobs to be able to pay for the university of administrative science in Tempere and be known already: At the age of 20, in fact, Sanna has already decreed his entry into the political scene, among the ranks of the social-democratic youth movement, so much so that she became its vice-president from 2010 to 2012.

From there the race to the upper floors, indeed very high, proceeds inexorably, sedimented by a strong activism on the side of social networks, where Marin often undertakes extensive debates on ecology, welfare and education; as a final rush, in 2015 she was elected deputy of Eduskunta, the parliament of Helsinki, in June 2019 minister of Transport and Communications (directly from Antti Rime, the predecessor) and finally premier in December 2019, holding the record of the youngest prime minister in the world.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Sanna Marin (@sannamarin)

To such a tiring climb should therefore correspond a deserved rest and the admiration of a spectacular panorama; Since 2019, unfortunately, what has been envisaged in the eyes of the Finnish Prime Ministers has been something more like a wasteland at times desolate and at times strewn with rubble. But Sanna Marin is still far from feeling tired: the COVID-19 pandemic, which sadly inaugurated her mandate, has not in fact undermined the progressive premier, who is waiting for a response from NATO member states.

Let us remember that the application for membership of the alliance presupposes a series of requirements and procedures of no small account and of no short duration, on which, however, Finland can say that it has already almost put a green check (democratic political system, market economy, fair treatment of minorities, military contribution to NATO operations etc...). In fact, President Joe Biden has declared not only his full support for the entry of the Finnish state, but guaranteed that "The US will work with Finland and Sweden to guard against any threat to our common security and to deter and face aggression or the threat of aggression while their NATO membership applications are being considered." This means that, although the two states are not yet part of the alliance, the latter would still ensure the defense in the event of foreign attacks, one of the basic principles of NATO.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Sanna Marin (@sannamarin)

For the EU and other countries, therefore, there would be not only a scenario of further alliances, but a massive military contribution: it is estimated that Finland and Sweden would mobilize more than a million fighters and submarines. In addition, Helsinki has the widest range of European artillery and an excellent intelligence system for spying on the Kremlin.

However, a first and serious obstacle is the blunt refusal of the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who considers the entry of the two nations a danger: the resentment of Ankara would be moved by the alleged pro-Kurdish positions of Sweden and Finland, accused of giving asylum and denying extradition to several suspected members of the separatist party of PKK-YPG, labeled as a terrorist by the USA and NATO.

 
 
 
 
 
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Un post condiviso da Corriere della Sera (@corriere)

To date, a response has been awaited, while GASUM, the Finnish gas company, has said that since yesterday, 21 May, the energy supply from Moscow has been officially interrupted: following the denial of Helsinki’s payment in rubles, the Russian taps have been closed, so the supply on Finnish soil will arrive with the Balticconnector gas pipeline from Estonia.