After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Finland announced that it would consider applying for NATO membership.  Finland and NATO have historically had close ties, but Finland has not seriously considered NATO membership since the 2006 Presidential elections, where it was a hotly debated issue.

After considering NATO membership for the last two months, Finland announced today that it has formally decided to apply to join the military alliance.

The Epoch Times Reports

 

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“The government of Finland announced Sunday that it is planning to apply for NATO membership in a move that is likely to irk Moscow amid the months-long conflict in Ukraine.

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Ahead of the planned announcement, Russian officials lodged threats against the Scandinavian country, which shares a lengthy border with Russia and has long held a position of neutrality. During the Cold War, both Finland and neighboring Sweden kept out of NATO, but the governments of both countries have said they have reconsidered their stance on the military alliance amid the Russia–Ukraine war.

“We hope that the Parliament will confirm the decision to apply for NATO membership during the coming days,” Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said during a news conference in Helsinki on Sunday. “It will be based on a strong mandate, with the President of the Republic. We have been in close contact with governments of NATO member states and NATO itself.”

Just hours after the announcement, Sweden’s Prime Minister Magdalena Andersonn said that her party supports joining NATO as well.

“We Social Democrats consider that the best for Sweden and the Swedish people’s security is that we join NATO. This is a decision that we have made after very careful consideration,” she said at a press conference on Sunday. “For us Social Democrats, the military non-alliance policy has served us well. But our analysis shows that it will not serve us as well in the future,” Andersson said. “This is not a decision that we have taken lightly.”

 

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