Finland will officially apply to join NATO

That’s it. After several days of waiting, without really any more suspense, the Finnish head of state and a government council “jointly decided that Finland was going to ask to become a member of NATO”, on Sunday. “It is a historic day. A new era is dawning,” said Finnish President Sauli Niinistö.

The Finnish Parliament is due to examine the membership project on Monday, with a vote expected afterwards, according to the president of the chamber. With the support acquired on Saturday from the Social Democratic Party of Prime Minister Sanna Marin, the latter should result in a river score among the 200 Finnish parliamentarians. “We hope that Parliament will confirm the NATO candidacy decision in the coming days. It will be based on a clear mandate,” said Sanna Marin.

Membership under tension with Russia

On Saturday, the Finnish president called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to inform him of his country’s imminent application for membership, which is raising threats of reprisals from Moscow. The Russian president told him that joining NATO “would be a mistake”, judging that “there is no threat to the security of Finland”, according to the Kremlin.

In Finland, the war in Ukraine has resulted in a historic leap in support for NATO membership to better protect itself from Russia, with which the country shares a border of 1,300 kilometers. According to the latest polls, the share of Finns wanting to join the alliance has exceeded three-quarters, or triple the level before the war in Ukraine.

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