Finland will apply for NATO membership

Finland wants to join NATO. Finnish President Sauli Niinistö and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced in Helsinki on Sunday that the northern European country would submit an application to be included in the military alliance. The Finnish parliament still has to approve the step, a majority is considered safe.

On Sunday, Niinistö spoke several times of a “historic day” for the Scandinavian country. “A new era is beginning,” said the President.

Finland has been non-aligned for decades and shares a border of around 1,300 kilometers with Russia. Joining the military alliance was long considered unthinkable. The Russian military operation in Ukraine has led to a rethink among politicians and the population. A referendum on joining NATO is not planned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Finland’s plans to join NATO. In a phone call to Niinistö on Saturday, Putin spoke of a mistake. Russia does not pose a threat to the neighboring country, Putin emphasized during the talks, according to Russian sources. Finland’s departure from traditional neutrality will lead to a deterioration in the good-neighborly relations that have existed up until now.

more on the subject – Analysis: How Russia reacts to Finland’s plans to join NATO

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