NATO bid would risk tensions with Russia but gain preventive effect
President Sauli Niinistö on Saturday said that Finland´s possible NATO membership would permanently increase tensions with Russia along the border of two countries.
In an interview with the national broadcaster Yle in its morning breakfast (Ykkösaamu) programme, Niinistö, however, said the greatest benefit of NATO membership would be "gaining a preventive effect," reported Yle.
He also said that Finland would be targeted by Russian cyberattacks and other violations, if the country decides to apply for NATO membership.
The President focused the potential threat of disruptive behavior by Russia during a lengthy accession process.
"We don't even know all the possibilities for hybrid influencing that someone may invent," Niinistö told Yle.
"The whole world of information technology is vulnerable. Even some important activities in the society can be disrupted,'' he added.
About 62 percent of respondents of a recent survey conducted on March 9-11 opined in favour of joining NATO while the ratio was 53 percent in the survey conducted on February 23-25.