Finland has confirmed it will apply to join NATO despite Russia’s president warning it would be a “mistake” to do so.
Finland’s President Saul Niinisto said joining the military alliance will “maximize” his country’s security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A formal membership application is expected to be submitted to NATO headquarters in Brussels next week.
Yesterday, Mr Niinisto told Vladimir Putin about his intentions, sparking a warning from the Russian president that abandoning neutrality would be a “mistake”.
In response, Finland’s leader told Mr Putin the invasion of Ukraine had changed the country’s security environment.
Finland’s NATO membership bid is expected to be followed by a similar move from Sweden.
An expansion of the 30-country military alliance would be a blow to Mr Putin, who undertook the war in, what he said was, a bid to thwart its easterly advance.
The announcement came as a meeting of NATO foreign ministers took place in Berlin, where the Ukrainian war and expanding alliance were discussed.
Speaking at the meeting, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said “there was strong support” for a “more global NATO”.
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