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War in Ukraine: Finland to apply for NATO membership


A decision ending 75 years of military non-alignment between Russia and Finland. The government of the Nordic country formalized this Sunday, May 15, its application for membership in NATO, marking a breaking point between these two border nations.

“It is a historic day. A new era is dawning,” Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said at a press conference.

“Being a member of NATO would strengthen Finland’s security. As a member, Finland would strengthen the Alliance as a whole,” Finnish President and Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Thursday.

Neutral since its independence in 1917, Finland has a common border with Russia that is 1,300 kilometers long. Unhappy with this announcement, Vladimir Putin reacted on Saturday by referring to “an error since there is no threat to the security of Finland” and by confirming the taking of “military-technical” measures in the days to come.

This historic geopolitical decision could be accompanied by Sweden’s entry into the alliance. “We hope to be able to send our applications this week, together with Sweden. They have their own process but I hope we will make the decisions at the same time,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Saturday.

Finns overwhelmingly in favor of NATO membership

The two nations, which had already become partners of NATO and members of the European Union at the end of the cold war in the 1990s, would therefore bring about a rapprochement with the Western powers by integrating into the organization created in 1949.

According to the latest polls in Finland, more than three quarters of local citizens would like their country to join NATO. A figure that has more than tripled since the start of the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces.

The membership project must now be examined by Parliament, before being submitted to deputies on Monday.